Denim – a wardrobe staple with the versatility to suit everything from a crisp white shirt to a baggy jumper. Skinny, straight leg, bootcut or cropped – denim is always in demand.
In this overview of the denim market in 2015, Drapers analyses the sector’s potential, drawing together data on the bestselling styles and brands to the winning colours and finishes. We find out which brands have the widest range and broadest price architecture, and look at where people are buying denim and the growth in the over-50s market.
Drapers also discovers the emergence of branded versus own-brand denim. Consumers are ever more receptive to own-label, especially as they look to experiment with trend-led styles such as flares and cropped jeans.
Shoppers in 2015 are more willing to buy jeans from multiples such as New Look or etailers like Boohoo.com and Asos.com than they are to invest in premium brands such as Diesel or J Brand. However, men are more likely to treat themselves to premium jeans than women.
As demand for denim continues to grow and shoppers become more adventurous in their choice of style, brand and colour, the challenge is on for denim brands to win back market share from own brand retailers.
Top 10 best-selling brands (UK)
For spring 15, online shoppers opted for retailers such as Boohoo.com and Asos.com over the denim specialists as a less expensive way to try new trends such as flares or cropped jeans. As a result, Diesel, which topped sales for autumn 14, dropped to 13th for the spring 15 season.
7 For All Mankind
7 For All Mankind
The 1970s trend fed demand for flares among female shoppers during spring 15, eating into the market share for bootcut and straight-leg jeans. Despite the new wider-leg styles, skinny jeans still drive women’s denim sales. In menswear, bootcut jeans fell out of favour, as straight-leg denim continued to dominate for spring 15.
Women are 18 times more likely to buy own-label jeans than branded styles, while men are four times more likely to opt for own-label. Denim specialists continue to lose out to multiples, despite the gender divide.
In the year to August 30 supermarkets led the way in the value market, where the typical price for jeans is £10 to £12. At the upper end of the market, department stores sell the most expensive men’s jeans, while independents are the home of premium women’s denim.
Denim experienced strong growth for both autumn 14 and spring 15, with demand for women’s jeans increasing ahead of men’s in both expenditure and volume terms. Compared with the previous year, women spent 13% more on jeans in the three months leading up to August 30 2015, purchasing 9.6 million pairs.
Drapers commissioned analyst Retailmap to review the prices and range of denim on sale in Westfield London and Westfield Stratford in the week commencing October 7. The key value retailer in the set, Primark, had a larger range of styles of men’s jeans (55) than women’s (49). Marks & Spencer had a bigger women’s range size (113 options) than men’s (40).
At Zara the average price of men’s denim is about 20% lower than that of River Island and 30% lower for women’s, while the largest gap from entry price (£22.95) to the next price point (£34.95) is at Gap.
While G-Star’s entry and exit price for women’s and men’s is exactly the same, at £80 and £140 respectively, its women’s range is less than half the size of its men’s (15 versus 36 options). Women’s jeans from specialists such as Levi’s and Diesel had an entry price £5 higher than the exit of the next nearest retailer, Gap. However, the men’s ranges of such retailers overlapped those of Superdry and Urban Outfitters.
For more exclusive denim market research from Retailmap download the pdf here: