Apparel Retailers to Target Stylish Women

In another sign that the recession may be easing for some consumers, a new study reveals that ‘stylish’ women are back in the apparel market. Instead of focusing on price, this group is looking for something more. Bain & Company just published its “Why She Shops: The 2010 Fashion and Beauty Study,” to answer retailer questions about what today’s female shopper is seeking.

Retailers have good reason to target women consumers who say they are ‘stylish’. This group spends “three times the average on all apparel, accessory and beauty purchases by female shoppers in the U.S.”  A small group of women (15%) are linked to 70% of spending on luxury apparel, accessories and beauty products.  However, these shoppers also want apparel that lasts. Over 80% are looking for clothes and accessories that will get them through more than 1 season.  They also want classic styling (65%) instead of contemporary looks (35%).

These women rely on brands that offer the following:

  • Good fit
  • Matches their style
  • Trusted/​high quality

Specialty retailers should know that they can capture 55% of apparel spending and 40% of accessory spending done by this group. This group also shops heavily online.  But reaching this group isn’t as simple as launching an online campaign. These women use social media but connecting the resource to shopping has been slow as these numbers show:

  • Use text messaging to help with shopping 5%
  • Use social networking for shopping ideas 10%
  • Shop and buy through mobile phone 12%

Look for more retailers to target women shoppers with classic apparel styles during the upcoming holiday season. Based on these numbers, promotional activity may occur online but retailers may look to traditional media formats as well.

[Source: Why She Shops. Bain & Company. 14 Sept. Web. 20 Sept. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.