COTTON INC. A CHANGING CONSUMER
Cotton Incorporated ceo J. Berrye Worsham debuted the organization’s latest “Fabric of Our Lives” commercials, populated with Evander Holyfield, Daisy Fuentes, James Carville and Mary Matalin, among others. The graphically stirring ads, as reported, are part of a $35 million push to address “changing consumer dynamics” and to heighten the fiber’s recognition with a younger customer.
Worsham pointed to key “megatrends” that are driving change in the industry, including intensified nonapparel competition for the consumer dollar and the continuing growth of casual apparel. Cause for concern, according to Worsham, is “the erosion in the percentage of consumers who say they want to shop for clothes” — a drop from 41.4 percent in 1995 to its current 37.6 percent.
The upside, however, is the huge growth potential for casual dressing, Worsham noted, pointing out that sales of casual apparel have “greatly outpaced” tailored clothing. “Sixty-five percent of companies now have a casual day,” he added. ‘How much room is there to grow? A lot. Many of these companies just have one day a week,” and that’s likely to expand, Worsham predicted.
As for broadening its appeal to a younger demographic, Worsham pointed out that consumers aged 16 to 19 are the biggest spenders on apparel of any age range, but that only 20 percent look at fabric content when making a purchase.