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Uk Value Clothing Retailers 2009 -Aarkstore Enterprise

It analyses the key issues that value clothing retailers face, both now and in the future and also includes forecasts for sector growth in 2010.


*Comprehensive profiles and outlooks for the 10 largest operators in value clothing including key operating statistics and store and space data

*Size of the UK value clothing market 1999-2009e, distribution channels, category share, store numbers and space.

*Clothing and value clothing market forecasts for 2010.

*Key issues and outlook for the sector including online, market growth by value, mid market and premium and international opportunities.


The value clothing sector has been one of the main beneficiaries of the recession as consumers have approached spending on discretionary items with increased caution. Though Verdict forecasts a 0.6% decline in overall UK clothing spend in 2009, we estimate that value clothing sales will grow by 5.0%.

We expect grocers to make further gains in 2009, increasing their share of the value clothing market to 34.2%. Long term we believe grocers will prove a further threat to value clothing specialists with gains to be made by improving store environments and fully exploiting multichannel capabilities.

Primark has held on to the top position as the retailer with the highest value clothing market share in 2009 of 18.2%, up 0.5 percentage points from 2008. As well as benefitting from trading down, it enjoys a relatively young customer base which has been least impacted by the economic downturn because of fewer financial responsibilities.

Reasons to Purchase

*Use Verdict’s practical and actionable analysis to shape future business strategy.

*Identify the key issues in the market and plan accordingly in order to reduce risk and maximise growth opportunities.

*Benchmark your performance against the 10 leading value clothing retailers’ key operating statistics and growth plans.

Table of Contents :
Key findings 6
Main conclusions 7
Value sector grows despite overall clothing declining 7
After several high profile casualties the market begins to stablilise 7
Larger retailers have gained scale through space expansion 7
However it is not just about price 7
Value clothing now accounts for over a third of childrenswear sales 8
Grocers quickly gain headway … 8
… and will prove an even bigger threat 8
Primark outperforms – and holds on to number one position 8
Younger consumers look a lucrative target, but competition is intense 9
Online developments boost value clothing retailers’ sales 9
2010 should be another good year for value players … 9
… but long term the market will be more challenging 9
Therefore value retailers will need post-recession strategies 10
As UK growth opportunities lessen – international will be a target 10
Clothing market trends 11
Value clothing definition & market trends 14
Value market channels of distribution and sales mix 19
Space and store numbers 22
Clothing market shares 24
Grocers continue to grow share 24
Value clothing market shares 26
Sainsbury new biggest gainer of value clothing market share 26
Winners and losers 26
Larger players gain the most share in the value clothing market 26
Key operating statistics 31
Operating margins 32
Clothing sales densities 34
Space allocation 35
Advertising media expenditure 39
Changing spending patterns 41
Value clothing market benefits from recession … 41
Signs that consumers were favouring premium retailers pre-recession 41
But recession has forced consumers to trade down 42
Loss of capacity in the market 42
Inflation returns in 2009 and will become more prevalent in 2010 43
Perception of value changes with premium re-emerging 43
Impact on value retailers 43
… but shopping habits vary by age 44
Desire for value clothing fades … 44
… though appeal remains for young 44
Value retailers head in the same direction 47
Value fashion market increasingly saturated 47
Value clothing share rises … 49
… at the expense of midmarket … 49
… and – for the past three years – premium 50
Changing price architectures 52
Online presence is vital 54
Services and funtionality to improve online presence 54
Returns a major deterrent of online shopping 56
Free deliveries and returns – double edged sword for value retailers 56
International deliveries are not widely available from value clothing retailers 56
Value retailers slow on the uptake of mobile phone technology 56
Importance of social media 57
Opportunity for absent value clothing players to come online still 58
High online sales volumes essential 60
Standing out from the crowd 61
Differentiation in the market 61
Small changes to make a difference 61
International expansion 64
As UK opportunities lessen – potential for expansion abroad 64
Building an international presence 64
Franchises allow for international expansion without high initial costs 65
Expanding internationally is highly challenging … 65
… but still provides many opportunities 65
Competitors in Europe: C&A 66
Competitors in Europe: H&M 67
Competitors in Europe: Kiabi 69
Future of grocers 70
Grocers: where are they now and where will they be? 70
The economy – looking ahead to 2010 72
Outlook for UK economy remains challenging 72
GDP recovery will be slow 72
Unemployment worst to come 72
Government spending cuts on the cards 72
Consumer confidence improves but remains fragile 73
Forecasts for 2010 73
Value clothing growth slows, but continues to outperform 73
Strategic summary 74
Value retailers will continue to benefit from trading down 74
However, young people are central to the value proposition 74
Midmarket retailers focus less on entry price point product 75
Value retailers cannot rely on price alone 75
Online uptake increases 75
As UK growth opportunities lessen – international will be a target 75
Grocers continue to threaten 76
A weak economy wil continue to support growth in 2010 76
Benefits from consumer focus on low prices 77
Recent key events 78
New initiatives support growth 78
George launches online 78
Coleen cut 78
Launches Asian range 78
Schemes to drive clothing sales 78
£30m to upgrade in line with M&S and Next 78
Opens George HQ and refreshes image 79
Social networking aims to improve business transparency 79
Store innovations will increase competitiveness 79
New CEO for Wal-Mart 79
Asda reshuffles with new COO 79
Comprehensive George team 80
Proposition 81
Every day value and convenience key 81
Financials 83
Sales growth accelerates during downturn 83
Growth picks up after slowing in mid decade 85
Space 87
Space expansion and rising densities both help growth 87
Sales densities start to recover 88
Space allocation 89
Sector performance – clothing 92
Sales performance slows but provides encouragement for 2009 92
Clothing market share continues to increase 95
Outlook 96
Further developments will improve George’s value fashion credibility 96
Investment in product quality was overdue 96
George faces growing value clothing threat … 96
… however George will continue to do well out of the downturn 96
Improvements still to be made to clothing shopfits 96
Online offer needs to stay one step ahead 97
Asda Living stores will benefit George sales 97
Enjoyable experience 97
Moda and Boston Crew launches were wise moves 97
Driving the business forward in a challenging time 99
Recent key events 100
Increasing presence 100
Retailer enters administration 100
Au Naturale attracts new customers 100
Improved merchandising 100
Space expansion 100
Advertising spend cut 100
Proposition 101
Continues to focus on childrenswear 101
Financials 102
Sales continue to fall 102
Store closures affect sales growth 103
Space 104
Expansion on hold in 2009 104
Space allocation 105
Sector performance -clothing 107
Childrenswear drives growth 107
Market share drops 109
Outlook 110
Neighbourhood advantage? 110
Sales densities remain low 110
Competition in value is fierce 110
Brand image is confusing 110
Its location may be an advantage 111
Renaissance for value pioneer 112
Recent key events 113
Business improvements attract new customers 113
Online attracts new customers as well as higher average spend 113
Extending sub brands widens target market 113
Home department attracts clothing shoppers 113
Advertising more low key 113
Improved store experience reaps rewards 114
Interesting visual experience 115
Improves customer service 115
Middle East offers low risk expansion opportunity 115
Reported £1.5bn sale in 2010 116
Proposition 117
Financials 118
Like-for-like uplifts boost performance 118
Current trading highly encouraging 119
Higher sales, better margin 120
Space 122
Expansion on agenda once more 122
Space allocation 123
Sector performance – clothing 126
Sudden recovery in 2008/09 after stagnation 126
Constant need to drive footfall to stores 127
Gains market share once more 128
Outlook 129
Strategy delivers growth – boosted further by recession 129
Matalan profits from recession – and its own strategy 129
Womenswear will benefit from holistic improvements 129
Online offers further growth opportunities … 129
… it needs more launches – in childrenswear for example – to add excitement instore 129
Fashionable range for young men would help, too … 130
… making the shopping experience easier and more convenient 130
Driving footfall is key 130
Strong value credentials maintain market resilience 131
Recent key events 132
Shapes up for global assault 132
Considers a £1.7bn stockmarket flotation 132
Strengthens corporate structure 132
Global expansion priority 132
Invests in advertising 133
Engages online 133
High profile celebrities maintain fashion credentials 133
New brands widen customer base … 133
… and rebranding drives sales 134
Standalone footwear and accessories store 134
Drives kidswear and menswear 135
Proposition 136
Widens price architecture with sub brands 136
Financials 137
Trading performance continues to impress 137
Space expansion and online drive sales growth 140
Online visitors increase rapidly 141
Space 143
Expands faster than sales 143
New Look continues aggressive space expansion internationally 144
Space allocation 145
Sector performance -clothing 147
Menswear and childrenswear outperform 147
Value share oscillates 149
Outlook 150
Strong offer in an intensifying market 150
New Look needs to justify price points through quality and design content 150
Wider customer base 150
A family focus 150
Childrenswear challenge 151
Opportunity in boys teenagewear … 151
… but needs a different approach 151
Office move could cause disruption 151
Exchange rates an increasing concern 152
Peacocks thrives and Bonmarché survives in competitive market 153
Recent key events 154
Develops product offer 154
Restructures management to accommodate expansion 154
Expanding Peacocks UK store portfolio 154
Developing overseas markets 154
Peacocks launches first celebrity designer range 154
Peacocks improves website with outside help 155
Bonmarché adds Outfit Ideas to its (non-transactional) website 155
New David Emanuel shopfits modernise Bonmarché stores 155
Bonmarché initiatives aim to improve customer loyalty 157
Propositions 158
Peacocks broad brand portfolio attracts a wide customer base 158
Broadening Bonmarché product offer tries to increase target market 159
Financials 160
Peacocks sales growth remains consistently strong 160
Store expansion and like-for-likes add to growth 162
Bonmarché sales growth picks up as space expansion slows 163
Sales growth remains in positive territory – just 165
Space 166
Peacocks space expansion continues to grow after bumper 2007/08 166
Peacocks space allocation 167
Bonmarché defies the recession by opening seven new stores 170
Bonmarché space allocation 171
Sector performance – clothing 173
Peacocks clothing sales continue to grow – albeit at a slower rate 173
Bonmarché unplift in clothing is a relatively positive performance 175
Peacocks continues to grow share in 2009 177
Bonmarché fails to grow share in the increasingly competitive value market 178
Outlooks 179
Differentiation key for Peacocks 179
Peacocks is a winner from the consumer downturn 179
Expansion plans could make it into a major force 179
Better product segmentation would improve shopping experience 179
Pearl Lowe range should attract younger shoppers 179
Childrenswear needs more destination appeal 179
Overseas and internet businesses will add marginal growth 180
Bonmarché needs to target local customers and go transactional 180
Bonmarché must focus its offer to a more specific target market … 180
… while tailoring product and stores to suit local and regional needs 180
A transactional website is a necessary long term investment 181
Awareness of competitors is vital in differentiating product ranges 181
Opportunities remain abundant 182
Recent key events 183
Aims for more growth 183
Management change should cause minimal disruption 183
Reiterates ethical policy 183
Develops logistics 184
Proposition 185
Value fast fashion maintains appeal in recession 185
Financials 186
Strong growth continues into 2009 – albeit at slower rate 186
International space expansion continues to drive sales growth 189
Space 190
Primark continues with aggressive space expansion 190
Space allocation 192
Sector performance -clothing 194
Growth of clothing sales slows but is still commendable 194
Primark continues to gain market share 196
Outlook 197
Primark well prepared for future growth 197
Recession plays into its hands 197
It needs to prepare for changing shopping habits post-recession 197
Better segmentation would target its large customer base more effectively 197
Online poses a growth opportunity 197
Investment in ethical issues will prove worthwhile 198
There are still great opportunities for Primark in the UK 198
More opportunities in menswear 198
Clothing continues to make rapid gains 199
Recent key events 201
Space expansion drives clothing growth 201
Non-food central to growth plans 201
Organisational changes highlight non-food focus 201
Non-food offer launched online … except clothing 201
Targets expansion through convenience format 202
New voucher scheme to offer further incentive to customers 202
In support of Competition Commission recommendation 202
Proposition 203
Well presented range offers broad appeal 203
Financials 204
Improved value credentials central to success 204
Growth continues through 2009 206
Makes progress online, but clothing lags behind 207
Space 208
Expansion high on agenda 208
Clothing space allocation 210
Sector performance – clothing 212
Sales grow more than 500% over five years 212
Rapid market share growth set to continue 215
Outlook 216
Abundant opportunities 216
Force to be reckoned with 216
Focus on convenience 216
Realigns prices 216
Market conditions help expansion 217
Space expansion vital for clothing success 217
Value competitors up their game 217
TU would benefit from more publicity 217
Clothing online launch essential 217
Huge clothing potential if it can overcome space barriers 218
Making progress after strong online launch 219
Recent key events 220
Continuous initiatives to ride out of the recession on top 220
Investment in price cuts help sales recover 220
Launches ASOS-style website … 220
… with 20 brands 220
Tesco aims to strengthen its fashion credentials 221
Tesco wins a round of the supermarket price wars 221
Clubcard relaunch includes double value vouchers when spent on clothing 221
International expansion continues to be a focus despite economic setback 221
New weather team aims to match supply and demand 222
Proposition 223
Broad target market results in range lacking focus 223
Financials 224
Trading performance shows Tesco’s ability to defy recession 224
Consistent sales and profit growth 228
Online sales growth is impressive despite hitting its lowest point 229
Space 231
Space growth slows 231
Clothing sales densities fail to impress 232
Clothing space allocation 234
Sector performance – clothing 237
Clothing sales trend hits bottom 237
Transactional clothing website improves Tesco’s fashion offer 238
Value market share stabilises 240
Outlook 242
Online launch strong, but can it attract the right brands? 242
Online will help Tesco up its game in the value clothing market 242
New brands improve fashion credibility … 242
… but few of them 242
Instore ranges need greater clarification 242
While the value market grows Tesco must keep up 243
Improvements in visual merchandising would boost sales 243
Key pieces need to be highlighted 243
Sainsbury is a looming threat 243
Inflation may not impact customers 244
Improvements pay off 245
Recent key events 246
Changes made to drive sales 246
Changes to management 246
Improved strategy… 246
… along with a larger advertising budget 246
Proposition 247
Value products appeal in recession 247
Financials 248
Performance improves in 2008/09 248
Space 251
Expansion plans restarted 251
Space allocation 252
Sector performance -clothing 254
Growth in clothing sales has returned 254
Market share remains level 256
Outlook 257
Sectors like electricals will provide footfall for clothing 257
Though it is benefitting from the recession … 257
… it needs a post-recession strategy 257
Expanding geographically 257
Fierce competition in the value market 257
Profit margins will remain low 258
New locations drive higher footfalls 258
Buoyant through economic downturn 259
Recent key events 260
Building on strong foundations 260
Developing an infrastructure to support expansion 260
Central London targeted for new stores 260
Invests in technology to improve efficiency 261
Online presence eventually arrives 261
New face heads marketing 261
Proposition 263
Discounted brands appeal to price conscious customers in recession 263
Financials 264
Positive performance in a difficult climate 264
Operating margin improves despite new store investment 267
Space 268
As UK growth slows the Continent offers opportunities for expansion 268
Space allocation 269
Sector performance – clothing 272
Sales growth rises as recession hits 272
Market share continues to grow 274
Outlook 275
Growth opportunities remain for TK Maxx in the value market 275
Model and proposition are highly favourable throughout the economic downturn 275
E-commerce opportunities would increase growth and market share 275
But it needs to act quickly 275
Product could be arranged similarly to instore 275
More city centre stores could grow customer base … 276
… and open new competitive avenues 276
Childrenswear potential not maximised 276
Expansion drive on Continent 276
Financial Statistics – VAT 278
Trading Profile 278
Key Operating Ratios 278
Physical Development 278
Abbreviations 279

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