The denim consumer is changing.

Despite closet clean-outs, the denim consumer is surging ahead. Women in the U.S. are increasingly devoting more space to jeans — and more than half of the jeans are discounted, according to an NPD Group report.

The NPD Group, a data-driven industry resource powering decision-making for over 2,000 companies worldwide, reviewed the growth of the jeans industry to find that today’s denim consumer is shifting buying preferences, with price being a primary motivator.

As the report said, a total of 364 million pairs of women’s jeans were purchased in the U.S. in the 12 months ending this past February, more than half of which were bought on sale. Great news for denim manufacturers and retailers: the jeans category boasted a 22 million-unit increase, compared to the past year.

Read more about the state of the denim industry here.

Despite the attention on ath-leisure, with leggings and yoga pants stretching out headlines, “the recent growth in women’s jeans is good news for the industry,” and shows women want more, according to Marshal Cohen, chief industry adviser of the NPD Group. But the report also stresses that “quantity” and “discounting” may be more important to the jeans consumer, and highly motivating toward a purchase.

With denim, getting the right fit traditionally means shopping in-store, as an “overwhelming majority of women’s jeans sold,” or 80 percent in the last year, were sold in-store. However, online sales are driving the growth in the jeans market, with a 32 percent increase in the number of women’s jeans purchased on e-commerce channels in the past year. With that, consumers are spending more on denim, more often, as the “average online annual spend per buyer on women’s jeans was 4 percent higher than the previous year.” Highlighted in the report — women are buying jeans twice a year on average.

With the changing denim consumer, Cohen believes “strengthening the consumer’s passion for jeans” will ensure denim is not viewed as a commodity, but as a luxury.

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