47.3% of UK clothing shoppers buy the majority of their clothing from value players such as Primark, H&M and the grocers, according to GlobalData Retail’s 2018 clothing survey. Indeed, the appetite for value clothing market leader Primark’s proposition remains healthy, with the retailer achieving 8% UK growth in H1 FY2017/18, supported by l-f-l sales rising 3%, and all without the benefit of a transactional website.

53.9% of under 35’s primarily buy from value clothing retailers – perhaps unsurprising given the breadth of choice on offer at the youth end of the market. While a preference for brands drives more males to shop at midmarket and premium players, female clothing shoppers favour value players. In fact, exactly two-thirds of female 16-24’s primarily shop at value retailers, emphasising the hold that the likes of H&M, boohoo.com and Primark have on this demographic – and the ongoing challenge they pose to midmarket players such as Topshop and River Island.

The majority of over-55s, however, prefer to shop at midmarket retailers, no doubt in response to the limited offer in the value segment, with only the likes of Bonmarché, Matalan and the grocers targeting them. While the youth market is lucrative for Primark and H&M, these players should drive awareness and appeal among mature consumers by highlighting appropriate but youthful styles for this age group.

The UK value clothing market reached £13.5bn in 2017 and while growth out to 2022 is expected to be softer than the preceding five years, there is still immense demand for value retailers’ ranges, given their ability to meet consumer desire for quality, fashionability and value for money – vital amid limited disposable incomes.

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