Feb 13, 2015
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Denim: premium suffers among UK retailers but makes progress in US

Feb 13, 2015

In 2014, in order to sell denim in the UK, an intense indigo western style shirt for men or a dark blue high rise pair of skinny jeans for women would have been good bets. Prints and shirts with denim blends, on the other hand, didn’t find many takers, even after discounts.

These are some of lessons to be retained from the 2015 Denim Retail study conducted by the firm Editd, which specializes in the use of data to advise retail stores about their product selection. 

J. Brand was the most stocked brand in the UK and had the most popular model of skinny jeans | Photo: J.Brand - - Visuel J.Brand

The study used global market data focused on retailers’ business in both markets in order to yield practical analysis of the sector. 

For example, denim brands often blame the rise of fitness-yoga products to explain a slowdown in business. Editd’s study claims that they are only half right.

In major physical and online retailers, new arrivals of leggings, jeggings and other sweatpants almost doubled between January 2014 and January 2015. At the same time, denim arrivals were 31% higher. But while sales of casual pants were up 114%, sales of denim posted +45%. Over the course of two years, sales curves essentially followed the same trends.

The study highlighted the fact that in the United States and the UK, there are over 150,000 denim products in the market, and volumes are increasing.

While sales of jeggings and other yoga pants grew, those of denim products also maintained a positive dynamic | Photo: Editd - - Visuel Editd

Surprisingly, the market structures in each country has evolved in completely different directions over the past year. In the UK, product orders in the premium and luxury market (averaging 315 dollars for a pair of women’s jeans) dropped by 24%, while they increased by 9% in the US (179 dollars for a pair on average). However, in the UK, in the mass market (jeans for 57 dollars) and value market (jeans for 26 dollars), product arrivals were up 29% and 58%. In the US, these markets, with jeans respectively at 69 and 30 dollars on average, decreased by 2% and 8%. 

According to Editd, luxury products saw the greatest discounts. Only 45% of sales were made at full price, as compared with 65% in the premium market and 61% for those in the mass and value market.

The major retailers selling denim included Asos for both countries for the mass market segment, and Nordstrom in the United States and Farfetch'D in the UK for the luxury and premium segments. The most stocked brands for men were Levi's, 7 for all mankind and Diesel in the US, and Diesel, Levi's and G-Star in the UK. The most stocked brands for women included 7 for all mankind in the US, followed by J. Brand and Paige Denim, while in the UK, J.Brand, G-Star and 7 for all mankind occupied the top spots. 

78% of the women’s denim market is composed of jeans (shorts making up 6%, skirts and jackets each at 4%), 76% of which are skinny. Boyfriend fits comprised 10% of products, jeggings 5%, flares 4%, the Turn-up 3% and straight cuts and Mom each make up 1%.

$1 = £0.65

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