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Clothing sales hold up despite consumer focus on essentials

Clothing is among the few consumer spending categories to have delivered real terms sales growth in the last year and people remain focused on saving, a Mintel study has shown.

Shoppers splashed out £46.2bn on clothing and adornment products in 2009, which represented per capita annual spending of £753.

Mintel research director Richard Perks said: “While money worries have changed prospects for many market sectors, it seems clothing is one area Brits won’t compromise on.”

Mintel’s British Lifestyles 2010 report showed that 70% of adults are focusing on building their wealth and repairing their finances. The majority are “very cautious” about spending on non-essential items.

Perks said: “With two thirds of adults emphasising saving in the coming year, the prospects for a rapid rise in consumer spending is not looking good. Despite the economic recovery they are expecting higher unemployment and there is little optimism regarding the growth prospects of the UK economy. It is hardly any wonder in these circumstances that they should be looking at focusing their spending on core essential items.”

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