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UK Insights

Jogging bottoms outsell denim

Jonathan Firth

Business Unit Director, Lifestyle

Shoppers 14.09.2016 / 09:00

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Is the rise in athleisure to blame for denim’s demise?

Kantar Worldpanel data shows jeans being worth £1.6 billion to the fashion market each year with people spending nearly £60 on jeans in a year. 

While denim continues to be a lucrative market, it is actually in decline from last year by -0.3%. Only kids’ jeans are seeing growth at +3.6%. Womenswear is aiding the decline, performing at -0.1% year on year, with the popularity of the athleisure trend as a possible culprit for hurting the market. Since May 2016, jogging bottoms began out-performing denim at +9.4% vs 5.9%. That gap has widened this month with joggers performing at +6.3% vs. -0.1% for denim.

Marketing and PR around denim seems to be concentrated on designer brands, the market overwhelmingly favours own label. Nearly 85% of the total denim market is own label, with branded denim actually declining -3.0% since last year. Men and women, however, differ in their preference for branded jeans. Nearly a third of men’s jeans are branded, compared to just 7% of women’s denim.

For retailers fighting over consumer spend in the adult market, those playing in the children’s denim market are seeing pound signs stack up. The current kids’ jeans market is worth £187 million and is continuing to grow adding £7 million pounds to the market last year. With retailers focusing more on “Mini Me” looks for children (adult silhouettes made for children) denim is increasingly becoming more popular for kids. Whether it is Prince George photographed in Gap denim overalls or Julia Rotfield’s (daughter of former Vogue Paris editor Carine Rotfield) new skinny denim released in her upcoming children’s diffusion line at River Island, denim for kids is following the trend of adult silhouettes and styling. In addition, with social media integral to parents as they document their kids growing up, parents are becoming more conscious of the outfits they are dressing their children in with trend and style factoring into their shopping decision making.

 So what is next for the denim market? As denim time travels back to the 90’s, whitewash, patches and fraying is heading to stores in the A/W 16 season. Skinny jeans will continue to dominate the market accounting for 55% of Women’s denim. A lot of retailers, however, have invested heavily in wide leg this season, but the cut only accounts for 2% of all women’s denim sold annually. In Menswear, skinny jeans continue to gain in popularity accounting for a quarter of all men’s jeans, while straight leg/relaxed has been reduced to 67% of the market, previously having 70% share last year.

 Despite denim taking a hit this year, jeans will continue to be one of the most popular pieces of clothing for all ages and is an area for retailers to constantly keep an eye on as shoppers tastes change. A dress may be for a special occasion or wedding, but denim will continue to be everyone’s trusted go to in their closets. Retailers and brands however need to take note that denim is not immune to trend changes – the trend for coloured chinos a few years ago took substantial spend out of this market.


Source : Kantar Worldpanel

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