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Millennials, Boomers push growth in bra market: NPD

Mar '19
Pic: NPD
Pic: NPD
Millennials’ desire for comfort, Boomers’ spending power, and their common interest in pure-play e-commerce retailers are causing key areas of growth in the $7.2 billion bra category, according to the NPD Group. Making the largest share of the US women’s intimate apparel market, Millennials captured more than a third of dollar sales in both 2017 and 2018.

Sales among Baby Boomers accounted for 17 per cent of the intimate market, but showed the most growth of all generations, up 6 per cent compared to 2017.

“Millennials and Boomers are two groups of consumers critical to any industry’s success, and the role they are each playing in the bra category demonstrates the importance of multi-target marketing,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, the NPD Group.

Approximately 40 per cent of Millennials indicated that the majority of their closet consists of what they call “comfort wear”, as seen in NPD’s Trend Tracker report, The Millennial Mirror-Comfort Wear, which was published in partnership with Stylitics. Given this focus, a third of Millennial bra dollars in 2018 were spent on sports bras. Overall, sales of sports bras continue to grow, contributing $139 million to the apparel industry over the past three years.

Sales of items priced between $65 and $74.99 contributed the most dollar gains to the category in 2018, to the tune of $131 million, despite being a relatively small share of the bra market. The next largest dollar gain came from the $75 and up price point. Sales of items in this upper price range are supported by the discretionary spending of Boomers.

Despite their differences, Millennial and Boomer bra consumers are both drawn to pure-play e-commerce retailers. These retailers are among the more popular bra shopping destinations for both generations. Just as online has grown to capture a quarter of bra sales, pure-plays are a growing part of the online intimate apparel space – up four per cent in 2018 to more than eight per cent of the total market dollar sales.

“Reaching bra consumers, of any age, with targeted messaging and style offerings that have an eye on comfort at all prices is what will differentiate the top players,” said Cohen. “Innovative marketing approaches in the designer bra space, and the value and convenience provided by pure-play e-commerce are sources of new growth opportunities in this mature market.” (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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