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High-end is set to suffer

Growth in the UK designer clothing market is expected to slow in 2008, despite the sector outperforming the total clothing market this year.

The UK designer clothing sector grew by 3.1% to reach a value of £1.9 billion in 2007, compared with a growth of 2.9% and value of £1.8bn in 2006, according to consumer research group Mintel. The total clothing market grew by 2.5% last year.

Growth in the designer sector is expected to slow to 2.5% in 2008, as tough economic conditions hit the designer market.
According to Mintel, the sector is not immune to difficult trading conditions, with wealthy customers reining in their spending, and clothing featuring below accessories, art, travel and jewellery on their priority list.

Sales in June saw deep discounting in the designer market of up to 50% off, demonstrating that retailers had been left with a lot of stock to shift.
Mintel said kids’ designerwear declined due to mothers rejecting mini-me outfits.

Total spend in the kids’ designerwear market fell from £91.8 million in 2006 to £83.9m last year and is expected to fall to £80.6m in 2008.
Mintel predicts womenswear will be the strongest category in 2008 and will grow by 17% between 2008 and 2013, while menswear will grow by 8% over the five next years. Kids’ designerwear will remain stagnant over the five-year period.

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