Young womenswear brands hardest hit by UK inflation rates

Most UK consumers (69.6%) plan to change their clothing and footwear buying habits due to the continued rise in inflation rates and the cost of living, says GlobalData clothing analyst , Pippa Stephens, but clothing brands targeting young women could be the hardest hit as discretionary income. will force them to reduce their non-essential purchases.

Stephens explains that young consumers are expected to be the most affected due to their lower incomes and that female shoppers will change their consumption habits more than male shoppers, as they generally buy higher volumes based on trends rather than trends. a real need.

As a result, she predicts growth in the UK clothing market will be subdued this year, with spending remaining 4.3% below 2019 levels.

According by GlobalData monthly UK consumer survey conducted in April 2022, a third of UK consumers (32.1%) said they would buy less clothes and shoes due to consumer price inflation and 13.1% of respondents said they would stop buying these products altogether.

He also revealed that 8.7% of UK shoppers plan to switch to cheaper retailers due to these economic challenges, which will help value players like Primark and grocers grow market share, while mass-market retailers will struggle.

Consumers in social category AB, which includes senior and middle management, administrative, and professional positions, are most likely to maintain their existing buying habits due to higher discretionary spending.

In fact, Stephens points out that more than a third (35.7%) said they did not expect their habits to change, protecting players operating in the luxury and premium segment.

“While younger consumers generally have the highest per capita spending on clothing and footwear, consumers aged 16-44 expect their buying habits to change the most. Only 17.5% of consumers in this age group said they expected no change, compared to 41.5% of those over 45, as those under 25 are likely to be students or low-income, and many in the 25 to 44 age group have young families to support,” she explains.

She also points out that older shoppers tend to focus more on clothing essentials, while younger consumers shop more often to keep up with the latest trends and refresh their fashion wardrobe frequently, so they have more purchases than they can cut now. that prices have increased.

Stephens adds: “It will also contribute to the strong gender disparity, with women generally buying higher volumes, meaning only 19.5% do not plan to change their shopping habits, compared to 41.8% of men.”

As a result of these changing spending patterns, GlobalData now forecasts that while the UK clothing market in 2022 will grow 9.5% on the year due to Covid lockdowns in early 2021, it will remain 4, 3% below 2019 levels.

She concludes: “This is much worse than our January 2022 forecast, when the market value was expected to recover to just 1.6% below 2019. Most of the year-over-year growth is driven by inflation, which is expected to reach 7.3%, while volumes are only expected to increase by 2.3%, remaining 9.0% below pre-pandemic levels. A resurgence in travel and events this year will also limit the disposable income left to spend on clothing, although vacation wear and formal wear should get a much-needed boost.

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Michael O. Stutler