Behaviors and strategies of apparel shoppers detailed


Consumers continue to cope with a tricky economy, most recently evidenced in their plans to decrease overall spending increasing 20%+ from March. Apparel shoppers tend to be sale-savvy with a penchant for promotions. However, that’s not to say they don’t have a strong fashion sense, they are merely stretching their “cents” further, in some instances relishing in the thrill of the hunt.

Overall 58% of shoppers say that it’s true they enjoy shopping for sales and discounts on their apparel purchases. Further, 56.1% agree that getting a great deal on apparel is like a “sport” for them.  Over a third (36.3%) indicates coupons are essential when buying clothes. But fashion is not lost on the sale rack as 42.8% say they try to re-create high-dollar looks on a low-dollar budget, according to a recent analysis of the BIGinsight Monthly Consumer Survey.


Shopping Strategies and Behaviors – “Somewhat/Very true”: Adults 18+                                                                                                        


Coupons are essential when buying apparel. (36.3%)

Getting a great deal on apparel is like a “sport” for me.  (56.1%)

I browse social media sites and /or blogs for outfit ideas. (19.6%)

I enjoy looking through catalogs, direct mail advertisements and circulars for apparel. (48.1%)

I enjoy shopping for apparel sales and discounts. (58.0%)

I plan my shopping trips for apparel around the coupons I have. (33.0%)

I think that shopping for apparel is a necessary evil. (39.2%)

I try to re-create high-dollar looks on a low-dollar budget. (42.8%)

Shopping for apparel is one of my favorite pastimes. (31.8%)

The price of a garment is one of the last things I look at when shopping for apparel. (20.6%)

Value and EDLP are more important to me than apparel sales or discounts. (49.1%)



Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey, APR-12 (N=8,724)


Shopping strategies are a toss-up among consumers who shop JC Penney most often for Women’s Clothing and those who head to Kohl’s. JC Penney’s Shoppers (52.7%) favor value and an EDLP pricing model at a higher rate than Kohl’s Shoppers (44.6%). However, coupons are still very much entwined in JCP shopper strategy; 39.4% deem them essential. Kohl’s Shoppers (43.8%) are more inclined to cash in on coupons.

Macy’s Women’s Clothing Shoppers appear to be the most fashion-innovative with almost half (49%) agreeing that they try to re-create high-dollar looks on a low-dollar budget.

Further, the analysis applies Net Promoter Score methodology to show how shoppers perceive their Women’s Clothing retailer of choice. By subtracting the percent of consumers who detract from a brand’s reputation from those who would actively promote it, you can evaluate the strength of the retailer’s image by the NPS. Kohl’s receives the most net positive buzz (NPS = 36.2%). Macy’s and JC Penney follow with scores of 34.3% and 25.3%, respectively.

*Net Promoter, NPS and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld.