Fashion contributes £37.2 billion to the British economy, and supports around 816,000 jobs. To explore opportunities for supermarkets to take a greater share of this market, we recently interrogated TGI data to produce six clothing shopper segments.
We categorised segments as; ‘functional’ shoppers who buy clothes for comfort, ‘style’ mostly female shoppers who place emphasis of looking well dressed, ‘bargain’ who budget for every penny, ‘spontaneous’ who are defined by ‘those’ impulse purchases, ‘premium’ who place an emphasis on owning quality products and ‘status’ who ensure others know they are doing well.
Although Status and Premium shoppers form only 18% of all clothing shoppers, they are especially lucrative given they spend most on clothes, at £939 and £891 per year respectively.
As expected, Status and Premium shoppers have a much greater propensity to shop at more upmarket fashion retailers such as G-Star, John Lewis and Selfridge’s. We might not therefore expect these shoppers to be attracted by supermarket fashion offerings. However, the data also shows that these shoppers complement their upmarket purchases with clothing from lower and mid- market retailers such Primark, Next and M&S.
How Status and Premium shoppers bring cheaper and more expensive brands together (often in the same outfit) is not surprising given the economic downturn. But it is also indicative of how people want to customise their wardrobe according to their tastes and desires, irrespective of brand.
The readiness of Status and Premium shoppers to combine their purchases means these shoppers are well within the reach of the supermarkets. Through clever use of messaging that reinforces a positioning based on style, exclusivity and quality, coupled with intelligent marketing and advertising strategy that mirrors against media consumption habits, they have a genuine opportunity to add value to their business.
In terms of Status and Premium clothes’ shoppers, greatest opportunities are for Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. Although Waitrose currently only retails clothes at five branches nationwide, the research shows there would be a demand for this to be extended to other parts of the country. Forming part of the John Lewis Partnership, an opportunity would be for it to publicise John Lewis in-store. An example might be to showcase John Lewis own brand clothing in spaces that have longer dwell times such as in cafés.
These could be partnered with QR codes for online enquiry and ordering or even access later at home on a bigger screen. Waitrose could also tie in purchase behaviour with targeted postal and online marketing, perhaps offering incentives for visiting John Lewis or shopping at John Lewis online.
Overlaying the status and premium shopper profiles and their media choices, we see that Sky One, Sky Sports 1, Channel 4, Capital FM, The Guardian and The Sunday Times are media channels through which supermarkets can reach these audiences. Facebook is especially significant for them, and supermarkets should seek to create content that in turn creates conversations and which these shoppers can share.
Sainsbury’s could best cater for Premium and Status shoppers by using Nectar and online data to carefully target marketing online and by post. On TV, it should give more stress to ranges such as the Gok Wan for Tu brand. Similar to M&S, both Sainsbury and Waitrose might even consider having special ‘fashion show’ evenings set aside to promote these brands.
The segment on which Tesco over indexes the most is the Spontaneous segment. An opportunity here would be to attract their attention when they go in-store or on-line to purchase groceries. In-store, clothing signages and even items of clothing could be placed strategically in grocery areas to help create spontaneous interest and purchases. Online, it could do the same in its Fresh food and groceries section. Tesco could also employ messages around spontaneity in its media advertising for groceries, and offer deals or Clubcard points for clothing through carefully targeted post (using Clubcard data) or when making grocery purchases.
ASDA’s presence in the fashion market is long established. The data shows that clear opportunities exist across four of the six segments. In particular, it shows that it can compete against Tesco for the Spontaneous and Bargain segments. Were Waitrose to expand its clothing offering to more of its stores, ASDA would need to protect Style shoppers.
One of ASDAs most likely competitor will be Morrisons, which will launch its first clothing range in March 2013. Going by the name of ‘Nutmeg’, Morrisons’ own brand will go on sale in 100 stores. According to Morrisons’ chief executive Dalton Philips, Nutmeg will focus on affordable fashion and basics. In this case, the Bargain segment will be Morrison’s target, which will put it up against ASDA and Tesco. However, given that Morrisons tops the Functional segment, it would do well to target these shoppers as well.