Premium fashion is expected to enjoy the strongest growth in the clothing sector, increasing 29% to be worth £8.6bn by 2014, according to a report by Barclays Corporate.
The wider clothing sector is expected to report 9% “real growth” and the value fashion market is expected to grow 21%.
The accelerated growth in the premium market will be driven in part by consumers buying fewer, higher value items and by an ageing population placing more emphasis on quality and service than price.
The “Kate Middleton effect” has already boosted sales at upmarket retailers Reiss and Whistles after Prince William’s wife to be was pictured wearing items from their collections.
Retailers are expected to adapt their price structures and tailor their services towards older consumers to maintain growth and boost margins.
Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays Corporate says: “Kate Middleton is expected to do for many British high street names what Michelle Obama did for J Crew in the US. Shoppers really get inspired by these big glossy images of her in styles which are very accessible.”
“This is starting to be borne out by a subtle shift in consumer mindset which is taking shape. Consumers want quality as well as value, and are happy to trade up to buy statement pieces.