Forever In Blue Jeans

But at what price? This year, denim is making some very interesting moves. Total denim is a $17B business, according to The NPD Group Inc. / Consumer Tracking Service (September 2012 – August 2013), up 5 percent vs. the same time period one year prior. While denim is outperforming the total apparel market, don’t raise the banners just yet and don’t think all is wonderful in the land of denim.

Today, the once explosive higher priced denim business is surely feeling what it is like to be “worn out”. Denim priced at $75 and above, which accounts for 7 percent of all denim sales, is down compared to last year by 18 percent*.

What else is putting out the fire on the usually hot luxury denim market?

The west coast, once a jeans mecca for high-end denim, is just not holding its own. Sales in this area for the $75 and above price point dropped over 40 percent*, “ouch.” There are other regions suffering too. The east fell 15 percent, the central region saw a 20 percent decline , and in the south sales were down 14 percent *.

The growth rates of last year for the higher denim price points are becoming too challenging for the retailers to maintain. The consumer feels “all stocked up” on their jean wardrobe. So, unless retailers and manufacturers find a way to make denim more innovative – like finding out a way to make the consumer’s derriere look the best it ever has – the consumer is going to continue to buy on replacement and wait until they wear out rather than add to their jean wardrobe. Wake up denim makers! It’s time to give the consumers what they want: a reason to buy and to make that backside look even better.

*Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Consumer Tracking Service / September 2012 – August 2013 vs. September 2011 vs. August 2012

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