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Jeans market goes from rags to riches

Jeans market goes from rags to riches

Skinny, boot cut, designer or simply supermarket own, jeans have clearly got the fashion market sown up, as they continue to enjoy unbridled sales success.

Latest research from Mintel shows that this year, a staggering three pairs of jeans will be sold every second of every day in Britain alone.

Jeans have clearly come a long way since their workwear roots and are now a well-established wardrobe staple.  This year we Brits are set to buy no less than 86 million pairs of jeans, an increase of over 40 per cent in the last five years.

What is more, spending on jeans is expected to reach a massive £1.51 billion by the end of 2007, a four per cent increase on the £1.45 billion spent in 2006 and some 32 per cent up on 2002 figures

Own label jeans made by the likes of George at ASDA, M&S and Topshop have seen by far and away the largest increase in sales when compared to branded jeans.

Own label sales grew by a significant 41 per cent between 2004 and 2006 alone, with sales valued at £354 million last year, accounting for almost a quarter (24 per cent) of the market.

Senior market analyst at Mintel, Vivianne Ihekweazu, said, "Jeans are the ultimate fashion success story.  Today, we not only wear jeans lounging in front of the TV, but we are also happy to wear them for a night out on the town or for a day at the office.

“More recently, we have even seen celebrities wearing them down the red carpet. The introduction of supermarket and high street own label jeans has had a significant impact on the market.

She added, “They offer a budget option, and with some jeans now costing around the same as a cup of coffee, many more people can afford to have several pairs of jeans hanging in their wardrobe.

“Supermarkets have not only entered the market, they have fundamentally changed it, giving Brits the opportunity to buy the latest denim fashion trends at bargain prices.”

Mintel forecasts that the overall UK market for jeans will grow by an estimated 38 per cent to reach £2.1 billion by 2012.

Looking to the future, there are still areas ripe for development, such as targeting those who need to wear larger sizes or older consumers.

Adding value by creating customised and limited edition jeans will also start to reverse the price drop caused by own label brands.

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