Denim Industry Encouraged by Millennials, Reports NPD

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A broader mix of styling for all ages will strengthen and ready the denim industry for future growth

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“Denim is facing a real opportunity to build on past and present success with subtle strategic changes,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc.

Millennials (ages 18-34), who represent the largest dollar segment of jeans sales at 28 percent, are showing renewed interest in the U.S. denim market, according to global information company, The NPD Group. In the 12 months ending May 2015, overall dollar sales of jeans declined 5 percent, but increased 2 percent among Millennials – driven by a 13 percent dollar sales increase from the older Millennial consumers (ages 25-34).

“Denim is facing a real opportunity to build on past and present success with subtle strategic changes,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “While the industry is not yet in a state of recovery, brands are focusing their energy on the younger customer base, where jeans sales are growing.”
In a recent NPD survey*, 63 percent of consumers stated they love their jeans, but only 32 percent purchased a pair for themselves in the past 5 months. In the same survey, 1 out of every 4 consumers said they can’t find jeans they like or that fit well anymore.

“There are missed opportunities across the denim retail landscape, from the limited distribution of classic styles, fuller cuts, and peripheral specialty sizes, to the absence of color that is living large in so many other industries,” added Cohen. “Providing a broader mix of product that appeals to a broader audience, with variety stocked in stores, will help to bridge the gap between what consumers are buying, what they want to buy, and rejuvenation of the denim market.“

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Consumer Tracking Service, 12 months ending May 2015
*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / February 2015 Omnibus

Note: The generations are defined as follows: Generation Z (age 17 and under), Millennials (age 18-34), Generation X (age 35-49), Baby Boomers (age 50-69), Silent Generation (age 70 and above)

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Janine Marshall
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