We’ve just released our latest Market Report: Dresses USA 2014, in which we share key analysis on this hot category across luxury, premium, mass and value markets. Dresses have always been an excellent vehicle for delivering the visual codes of a season’s trends and representing newness. The dress category is a fascinating one for analysis, with fast moving product and discount cycles. Examining retailers’ strategy around this offers excellent insight and gives buyers and merchants a strong competitive advantage.
In recent years, the popularity of casual wear has soared, driving increased demand for separates. To consumers, they’re a cost effective and appealing option, and trends in tops and skirts have seen huge commercial success. One of the questions we often hear is, how have retailers responded to this shift? Have they scaled back on the weighting of their dress category? And is there a specific market where this has had the most impact?
Our analysis reveals the high weighting that the luxury market gives to dresses, having a 47% majority in the four core categories: tops, pants and jeans, skirts and dresses. At the other end of the spectrum is the value market, where dresses represent under 21% of the core categories – here there is much more emphasis placed in the tops category than other market segments.
The intricacies in weighting between categories across different markets are also fascinating when looking at the changes over a period of time. Comparing the new arrivals of June 2013 with June 2014 reveals that new dress arrivals on the market as a whole have shrunk by 2.09%. Drilling down into each segment shows the premium market to have cut back on dress newness the most, with new arrivals for June 2014 down by 3%. The mass market has reduced new dresses by 1%. The luxury market has not shifted the balance of their dress newness, and the value market has actually grown the weighting of dresses, gaining 6% from other categories – a big shift that value and mass market retailers will be closely analyzing in the coming months.
To get more market insight on how dresses are performing download our free report now. We reveal the best-selling dress styles at every price point, expose the retail calendar for dresses (including key dates for new arrivals and discounting), and show you the most successful marketing and communications tactics for the category.