Women Bored with Clothes Shopping

Latest research from Mintel in the report "Women Mainstream Retailing" questioning 2,274 women aged 15 and over, highlights the frustration experienced by the majority of British female clothes shoppers.

Size presents the greatest issue, with over 40% of female consumers seeking a wider range of sizes. A further 35% would like to see better stock availability of their size. Frustration peaks among those aged 55-64, with almost 50% of this group looking for a greater range of sizing. By contrast, it is the younger 15-19 age group who are most likely at 21% to feel that they are an unusual size and height and consequently have trouble getting things to fit.

In general, today's women are bored with the clothes shopping experience. According to Dominique Allport, Retail Consultant "Our research points towards a general lack of innovation in terms of store design and the clothes themselves."

Bargain hunting remains a major characteristic of the womenswear market, as consumers have become used to being able to find clothes at reduced prices. Almost half of all women questioned stated that they look for a bargain when they shop for clothes. Although the bargain hunters can be found across all age and social groups, there is a noticeably higher proportion among those living in Scotland and the North West of England.

Future market growth in womenswear is unlikely to be significant. Consumers are now spending more of their disposable income on holidays, mobile phones, DIY and financial products. Consequently, clothing retailers have been progressively feeling the squeeze.

Those retailers that succeed in womenswear will have to work harder and be clever about the way they develop their business image and their branding strategy. The basics all require attention to detail so that customer service is optimised. Sizes must be in stock, replenishment systems must optimise the use of the merchandise, and cost controls should be rigorous.