Spotlight: Retail Revolutions

Retail Revolutions
Brand perceptions

27 September 2016, by Tom Whittington

Generational differences in brand preferences


Challenging non-food sales over the last few years has done nothing to thwart the importance of M&S as a leading high street brand. Its market share for fashion goods is the largest in the country (8.4%) and 7% of shoppers use M&S frequently for fashion purchases.

In fact, M&S is the most popular retailer for all age groups above 45 years, with Debenhams and Matalan being the 2nd and 3rd ranking for this age group. The popularity of M&S is even more pronounced for the Baby Boomer generation, with Debenhams and Asda’s George brand ranking 2nd and 3rd (Figure 4).


Top 10 ranking fashion brands for ‘Baby Boomer’ generation

Figure 4

Source: Savills Research, Verdict

For the Millennials and Generation Z (under 35s) M&S only features in the top 5 retailers for those in London and the South East. For these age groups Primark is overwhelmingly the most popular retailer, ranking 1st in 70% of UK regions and 2nd in the remaining 30% (Figure 5). Primark has a market share of 6.3% of the UK fashion market. The top spot is closely followed by New Look and H&M.


Top 10 ranking fashion brands for the under 35’s (Gen Y & Z)

Figure 5

Source: Savills Research, Verdict

With 7.5% of the clothing market, Next are the most popular retailer for shoppers aged 35-45, followed by Primark and M&S. The brands for this age group clearly bridging the divide between younger and older fashion choices. Retailers ASOS, Boohoo and ebay are the most cited pure play retailers.

There is a significant variation in top retail brand across the country at county level, with Debenhams, Asda and Tesco making the top spot in several areas.

Value brands have been the real stalwart in recent times and have changed the face of the high street. One of the defining features of this analysis is the importance of these brands in meeting shopper’s most frequent needs and value retailers are the most popular offer in 40% of Shopper Towns across the country (see Figure 6).


Preferred price point by Shopper Town

Figure 6

Source: Savills Research, Verdict

This popularity is apparent in the fact it has been these brands that have tended to be the most expansive over recent years. However, there are a number of Shopper Towns where the preferred price point is skewed towards mass and aspirational fashion brands. The question is then, does the offer in those towns meet these preferences?


Key Contacts

Tom Whittington

Tom Whittington

Commercial Research


+44 (0) 161 244 7779


Marie Hickey

Marie Hickey

Commercial Research

Head Office London

+44 (0) 20 3320 8288


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