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Value specialists’ growth outpaces supermarkets

Primark, TK Maxx and Peacocks have led a “dramatic recovery” in the value sector between 2007 and 2009 at the expense of the supermarkets.

The total value market grew strongly during 2009, up an estimated 6% on 2008 to £8.1bn, according to market analyst Mintel.

The growth is at a similar level to that recorded in 2008 and 0.3% higher than that experienced in the non-value sector in 2009, as sales of value clothing continued to boom in the recession.

The main beneficiaries of the growth were Primark and TK Maxx. Together with Matalan their total clothing sales rose 7.2% to £5bn in 2009.

Non-specialist retailers, including grocers Asda and Tesco, notched up estimated sales of £3bn during the year - a less rapid growth rate of 3.5%.

Between 2007 and 2009 Primark recorded a 1.8% rise in market share by value to 20.7%. George at Asda’s market share dropped 1.4% to 19.7%, while TK Maxx recorded a 1.5% rise to command a 16.1% share of the sector. Matalan and Tesco both shed 0.9% market share to take 12.2% and 11.7% of the market respectively. Peacocks’ market share rose 0.4% to 9.5%.

Mintel said Primark “took a convincing lead” over second-placed George with its low-price catwalk interpretations, having narrowly beaten it the year before.

Mintel said in the Value Clothing Retailing report that value retailers which have launched new ranges with improved design credentials, such as Peacocks’ collaboration with designer Pearl Lowe and sub-brands like Be Beau from Matalan, have increased desirability among middle-market consumers. Retailers that have revamped stores, such as Matalan, are also benefiting.

It added that Tesco and Asda had lost ground in value terms as they drove volumes through promotions.

Mintel forecasted that value sales would rise again by 6% to £8.5bn in 2010. The market is set to grow to £11bn by 2014.

Mintel senior consumer analyst for UK beauty, fashion and household Michelle Strutton said: “Price continues to be the primary driver of where to shop, with consumers keen to get a bargain.”

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