Female shoppers bought fewer items of clothing in the first six months of 2008, cutting back on impulse buys and opting to shop around more, according to data from TNS Worldpanel Fashion.
On average women have bought clothes from 11 different stores in the last year, up from 10 in the previous year, the data showed. The under 35 age group showed the most marked change, with those aged 25 and under shopping in an average of two more stores than in the previous year, while the 25- to 34-year-olds added four shops.
Within this trend, value retailers and mid-market chains appear to have benefitted most. Under 25s were most likely to trade down and add value chains to their purchasing pool.
In contrast, consumers aged 25 to 34 added high street multiples to their shops, trading up to higher price tags and purchased better quality items that may have a longer wardrobe life.
TNS said although shopping around had boosted customer numbers at many stores, it meant people were now less loyal, and retailers could easily lose some of their shoppers. Also noteworthy is the drop off in spending across all sectors by the over 35-year-olds.