The Primark store on Oxford Street

Despite an increasingly saturated market, U.K. customers continue to patron chain retailers for trend-focused, affordable items. According to GlobalData’s latest research for its annual survey, more than 47 percent of U.K. consumers shop at brands and retailers like Primark and H&M for the bulk of their clothing purchases.

“Exactly two-thirds of females aged 16 to 24 primarily shop at value retailers, emphasizing the hold that the likes of H&M, and Primark have on this demographic — and the ongoing challenge they pose to mid-market players such as Topshop and River Island,” said Kate Ormrod, lead retail analyst at GlobalData.

The insights were collected from GlobalData’s 2018 clothing survey, which polled 5,000 consumers.

According to the report, the U.K. value clothing market reached 13.5 billion pounds in 2017, which is set to grow in the next five years, albeit slower than the preceding five years. Of that market, more than 47 percent tend to shop primarily at value brands and retailers such as Primark and H&M, underscoring the relevance of fast fashion in a climate that’s been frequently centered on Millennial-focused companies like Reformation and Everlane.

Primark secured an 8 percent rise in the U.K. during the first half of 2018, the report said. This is likely due to Millennials, the data suggested. According to the survey results, almost 54 percent of respondents under the age of 35 predominately purchased from value clothing retailers.

This changes as consumers mature and gain more spending power, though. The report found that the bulk of females over the age of 55 preferred to shop at mid-market retailers.

“The majority of females aged 55-plus prefer to shop at mid-market retailers, no doubt in response to the limited offer in the value segment, with only the likes of Bonmarché, Matalan and the grocers targeting them. While the youth market is lucrative for Primark and H&M, these players should drive awareness and appeal among mature consumers by highlighting appropriate but youthful styles for this age group,” Ormrod said.

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