Premium fashion retailers have grown their share of the womenswear market at the expense of middle market players, according to a report by Verdict Research.
Niche and premium fashion retailers now have 29.7% of the market compared with 22.2% of the market in 2003. This equates to an additional spend of £2.1 billion.
Verdict Research said that shoppers were tired of "mass market" offerings and that as a result, brands such as Fat Face, Joules, Boden, Howies, Ted Baker and All Saints were attracting more shoppers. It added that having a "distinct brand" meant shoppers would put it at the top of their list when shopping.
By contrast, middle market fashion retailers have seen their share shrink back from 56.9% in 2003 to 45.7% in 2008. This is a £500 million loss in value terms. Verdict Research said that the likes of Marks & Spencer, Next and Bhs were losing out.
The value fashion retailers have also grown share from 20.9% in 2003 to 24.6% in 2008, equating to a growth in spend of £1.4bn.
Verdict Research said that 2008 has been the second toughest year since the turn of the century with just 2.4% growth in value terms. Volume growth is also at its lowest level for nine years.