There is a growing appetite for buying fashion online as consumers of a broader age range become more accustomed to shopping online. Three in ten consumers say that shopping online is so convenient that they rarely visit stores anymore, while over two fifths have ordered clothes online and picked up in store.

Mintel estimates that online sales of clothing and footwear will increase by 14.5% to reach £10.7 billion in 2014 as the overall sector has continued to see robust growth. Increased participation in shopping via smartphones and tablets has helped to bolster the market as consumers want to shop for clothes anytime and anywhere.

The growth rate in online fashion sales has, however, slowed from a high of 19% in 2012 and we expect a gradual slowing of the dramatic increases we have seen over the last few years as a natural consequence of a maturing market.


Mintel defines online fashion as:

  • Clothing for men, women and children, including both underwear and outerwear.

  • Footwear, including shoes, boots and any other type.

The market is defined as all purchases where transactions are made through the retailer’s website, or through an auction site, rather than by other ordering methods, even if the product is viewed online prior to purchase.

Value figures throughout this report are at retail selling prices (rsp) unless otherwise stated.

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GAD Government Actuary’s Department
GDP Gross Domestic Product
H&M Hennes & Mauritz
M&S Marks & Spencer
ONS Office for National Statistics
QR Quick Response
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