The continued rise of online shopping and the consequential sales decline on the high street demand a fundamental rethink and new, visionary shop concepts. German fashion retailers are responding to the changing situation on the basis of trial and error. This has resulted in the spontaneous emergence of new shop concepts such as pop-ups, stores with multimedia game platforms or fascinating architecture and much more besides. The success factors of these concepts have not yet been explored.
What needs do consumers actually have? What demands are they placing on fashion retailers? What are the pioneering trends and requirements? Which shop concepts are emerging for German fashion retailers as a result?
The core question in the current situation is: Which innovative concepts can fashion retailers use to successfully position themselves in this retail landscape in future?
To answer these questions, GfK Fashion & Lifestyle conducted a study on behalf of the GfK Verein focusing on the following topic: Future Fashion Retail: relevant consumer trends and shop concepts for the future of in-store fashion retail. This involved developing visionary fashion trends and shop concepts for the future of high street fashion retail in collaboration with 17 trend scouts. The shop concepts and approaches to consumer behavior were subsequently evaluated by consumers in workshops and then quantified in a GfK Textile Panel survey (16,800 respondents). The Future Fashion Retail study is the most comprehensive survey that has ever been carried out on this topic. The results show that eight distinct consumer types are currently shaping the fashion market in Germany. These consumer types have been classified in such a precise way that they could be used to define individual, pioneering concepts that are relevant for the fashion industry.
Based on the study and our “Market opportunities & innovation” research tools, we can create future-oriented, viable shop concepts for your fashion retail company. Read the first preliminary results from the “Future Fashion Retail” study.
For more information please contact Petra Muecke at email@example.com.
When developing visions for Future Fashion Retail, as we have been doing in a creative and complex process over the past few months, it is essential to examine the consumer of the future. What characterizes these consumers, whose attention and money do we rely on?
Reports from recently opened and revamped stores in the fashion and lifestyle industry indicate well-conceived product range concepts and modern, imaginative interiors. Retailers are coming up with great ideas and investing. What are customers up to? Are they kind, friendly and perhaps even grateful?
In small and medium-sized towns, this is perhaps still the case. Customers from towns such as Minden and Osnabrück and the surrounding areas recognize the efforts fashion boutiques are making in expanding, modernizing and updating the concepts of their stores to the latest trends. They still have their regular customers. Medium-sized towns also benefit from a small degree of social control, which is keeping the behavior of customers and residents in familiar territory. An urban community feeling remains. The tendency of “top dogs” to integrate not just coffee shops, but also restaurants in their stores serves to develop the sense of culture society in a town and strengthen the bond.
However, in the right circumstances, the wrath of citizens does on occasion bubble up in small communities. They can behave in different ways. Aggressiveness and egoism are phenomena in keeping with the spirit of the times, representing collateral damage of our selfish prosperous lifestyles. How is this connected to Future Fashion Retail? That remains to be seen.
The future is being conceived in the major cities. Living in the hustle and bustle of major German cities is where many dream of living, and not just the young. Here there are no top dogs. No single company can meet the diverse needs and expectations all at the same time.
For example, the independent boutiques of Berlin-Mitte are currently doing a roaring trade with trendy sneakers, sold by friendly, competent young sales staff. Their patience should be admired. Some of their customers might be intelligent, but they are not particularly pleasant, and certainly not grateful. They are “zeitgeisty”, cool, impatient, arrogant and egocentric. Howard Saunders, an English trend researcher and retail expert with an agency in New York, USA, is of the opinion that in the selfie culture of today, everybody looks after number one. “Everything is about me” – says Saunders of today’s customers.
The retail concepts of the future must gratify this egocentricity by appealing to customers as individuals. Customer participation is an excellent strategy for achieving this. Topshop, for example, includes customers in product design, asking them to help decide on colors, materials and shapes. The virtual community is taking the place of the real community at fashion stores and restaurants. Making customers feel they are part of something and presenting them with tempting offers is the direction that Zalando has taken with its activities.
These include plans for the recently acquired Bread & Butter and the new STYLE IN REAL LIFE platform. Four female customers with different body types are presented with their preferences, are dressed by a stylist for an occasion and styled to be photographed in the manner used by bloggers. Of course, every bit of each outfit can be ordered there and then. Men and other female body types will be added soon.
The idea of STYLE IN REAL LIFE can also be interpreted by in-store retailers. For example, through a contemporary, permanent customer fashion show. Howard Saunders believes participation and community are the most important building blocks for fashion retail of the future: “Whether a lounge, library or hairdresser is the meeting point, acting as a crowd magnet, there must be areas that are excluded from the hard sell, where customers can relax and not feel they have to buy something.” Woe betide if customers are bored or served the wrong coffee brand. Then they may well suffer reprisal from the self-righteous consumer community.
For more information please contact Petra Dillemuth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The tailor’s apprentice in Gottfried Keller’s short story is mistaken for a count because he is so well dressed. After many adventures and entanglements, he ends up with a wife, a workshop and wealth. Today, clothing mainly comes from Asia. It is no longer bought in specialist boutiques, but in discount stores, according to individual desires and means.
Each year, around €44 billion is spent on clothing in Germany. Of this, just under €40.2 billion is accounted for by German households, with other nationalities making up the remaining €3.8 billion, which is more than 9 percent of total spending on textiles. However, foreign national households spend a greater proportion of their non-food budget on textiles than Germans, at around 29 percent and approximately 27 percent, respectively.
In non-German households, annual spending on textiles amounts to just under €1,300 per household, which is €167 more than for their German counterparts. However, when taking the size of the household into account a different picture emerges. German households spend around €550 per person, while households of other nationalities split the total between more members and therefore spend €43 less on each person.
When it comes to individual shopping trips, foreign households spend over €63 on average, which is around €4.50 more than German households. On average, non-German households go shopping for textiles more than 20 times over 12 months, while German households only shop on 19 separate trips in the same period.
While specialist clothing stores are important for Germans when they buy textiles, households of other nationalities tend to spend the majority of their budget in large chain stores.
Non-German households also show an above-average preference for buying clothing at food discount stores: They spend just under €75 on textiles here, versus just €43 for German households. There is no difference between the two groups for the number of times they visit, with both buying textiles at food discount stores around six times per year.
For information on the buying behavior of non-German households, please contact Petra Mücke, email@example.com.
Another season to write off. Farmers lamented the shortage of water, while fashion retailers bemoaned the shortage of customers. Very few could report an increase in sales over the spring months from March to May. For most high street fashion retailers, the results of their clothing business were generally in the red. In contrast, the majority of non-specialist stores saw their figures improve. As did online retail, of course.
The mid-season sales in March were an ominous sign of what was to come. The season had barely started, and already some retailers were trying to entice the “absent” customers to their shops with price reductions. Many customers were somewhat amazed by the unexpected sales, while the more steadfast competitors (in terms of price) looked on in frustration. How could anyone possibly hope to sell jumpers, pants and other clothes at normal prices? The early reductions did not help the situation. Sales in March were negative. The industry only barely returned to the black in April. This was the first time in seven months. But this did not mark the start of a trend reversal. In the “merry month of May”, sales once again plummeted. As a result, textile retail closed the spring season slightly down on the same period of the prior year, while prices remained stable. As in previous years, goods sold at promotional prices made up around one third of sales.
Fewer items were sold in womenswear. The price level dropped in menswear. The two key product groups therefore reported a slight sales decline. Children’s clothing performed a little worse. However, accessories were the hardest hit. Sales really slumped in this segment.
When compared with other clothing, underwear fared relatively well. Shoe sales were also good. Sales remained stable in both product groups. However, counter to the general trend, some product groups reported significant growth. For example, sports fashion performed very well this spring. The greatest success story was leather clothing, with the popularity of biker jackets and similar products generating a significant sales increase.
Interest in the latest spring fashion was lowest among the younger generation. Only the over 50s were inclined to shop more than in the previous year. Household income had very little influence on consumer behavior. Both the highest and lowest earning customers reduced their spending on clothes.
Despite the overall decline in spring, positive results were reported in some sales channels, such as discount clothing stores and some mono brand stores with own brands. Sales of shoe retailers were stable. Non-specialist retailers were also strong and even improved their textile sales, which was above all attributable to the higher average price of the goods being sold. Online retail continues its triumphant advance.
Department stores are not seeing a change in the trend. They have been unable to maintain the price level. As was the case in winter, sales declined significantly in spring.
One thing is clear: The retail landscape is shifting more than it has in quite some time. This is not only affecting department stores. Some online retailers are opening bricks & mortar shops and even buying trade fairs. Whether small or large, other fashion stores have to reposition themselves for the future. They must find a way to counter the falling customer numbers. They must increase the appeal of clothes shopping. The key to success for fashion retailers is in intelligently combining high street and online business. This is no easy task. What is certain is that the retail landscape of tomorrow will be quite different to what we see today.
Read more on this subject here: “Find the perfect outfit online”.
Please contact Petra Dillemuth at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions on market size, market developments, range shares, price levels and target groups.
The busy pace of life is a popular complaint for many people. But findings released by GfK show that the majority of people internationally – 58 percent – say they are completely or fairly satisfied with the amount of leisure time that they have.
The pressure to look good surrounds us. TV programmes, advertisements on the high street and in magazines, newspaper stories on celebrities, even the endless selfies on social media – there are really very few major communication channels are not promoting images of good looking people.
In amongst all this, GfK has released findings on how satisfied normal, everyday people in 22 countries say they are with their personal looks.
The findings themselves are enlightening, but what is most interesting is what message they deliver to businesses in the fashion and beauty industries.
Latin American countries are happiest with their looks Complete satisfaction with personal looks is highest in Latin America, with Mexico, Brazil and Argentina all appearing in the top five for the percentage of population claiming this.
When we widen this to include those who say they are fairly satisfied, as well as those who are completely satisfied, Mexico comes out on top, standing at nearly three quarters (74 percent), closely followed by Turkey at 71 percent. Brazilians and Ukrainians come next at 65 percent each, with the Spanish, Germans and Argentinians all tying at 62 percent.
The Japanese are the most critical of their own looks, with 38 percent not too satisfied or not at all satisfied, followed by the British, Russians and South Koreans all standing at 20 percent and Swedes tying with Australians at 19 percent.
Teenagers only slightly more critical about their looks than others While there is some lean towards teenagers being most self-critical about their looks, it is not as heavy as might be expected – and comes almost wholly from those who are a little bit dissatisfied rather than entirely so.
Overall, 16 percent of 15-19 year-olds say they are “not too satisfied” with their looks, compared to an average 12-13 percent for those aged 20-59 years old. And this difference disappears almost completely for those who are not at all satisfied with their looks, with every age group standing at either 3 or 4 percent.
People aged 60 and over are least self-critical, with only nine percent say they are “not too satisfied” with their looks and three percent “not at all satisfied”.
Men and women are almost level Comparison of the male and female responses also sheds new light on the assumption that women are more critical of their looks than men. Each gender has 43 percent saying they are fairly satisfied and 12 percent completely satisfied with how they look.
When it comes to being dissatisfied, women do creep ahead of the men, but only by a few points – 14 percent being not too satisfied and 4 percent not at all satisfied, compared to 11 percent and 3 percent of men, respectively.
Why do we care?
For businesses in the fashion, beauty and personal grooming sectors, these finding help identify how you can adapt your messaging to resonate more strongly within each market, or with specific demographics. For example, in Japan, UK and Russia, significant numbers are likely to respond to marketing based around ‘improve or change your look’, while consumers in Mexico and Turkey are more likely to respond to offers around ‘refine and maintain your look’. And almost equal numbers of men as women are dissatisfied with how they look – so personal grooming ads targeted at men could well reap benefits.
Full results are available, free of charge:
Download the full set of data charts, showing both the global results and also country-by-country results.
Coinciding with the beginning of summer and the vacation season, the latest GfK study examined satisfaction levels with amounts of leisure time around the world – and United States consumers ranked as happiest with their time off.
As summer vacation season approaches, millions of Canadians say they are “completely satisfied” with their amount of leisure time, according to a global survey GfK conducted in 22 countries.
With the dramatic rise in consumer confidence into the start of the year, this seems to be translating into improved consumer spending across all room specific areas including the nursery sector.
2015 has been an interesting year already. A number of high profile brands have introduced a price realignment which is to be of benefit to consumers in the UK, fashion brands continue to dominate conversation and at this stage...
Nearly half of adult Australians are satisfied with their looks, and they appear to be willing to work for them to some extent.
GfK findings on how satisfied people are with how they look. Over half are fairly or completely satisfied. Teenagers only slightly more likely to be dissatisfied than older groups. Japanese are most self-critical, with over 1 in 10 not at all satisfied.