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Trade News

Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Is The Dress Blue or Gold? Who Cares! Black Dresses Were Up 10% in Canada.

Friday, March 13, 2015 > 08:52:31

(NDP Group)

The phenomenon of the What-is-the-color-of-this-dress? debate prompted me to look into our Canadian Apparel Consumer Tracking Service data.  As of 12 months ending January 2015, dresses were up 8 percent this year vs last year, with black dresses specifically being up 10 percent.

What’s interesting to note is that while this growth is great – focusing in on where the pockets of growth stem from by age is a different story.

Turns out that the coveted millennial consumer (those aged 18-34) accounted for 40 percent of blend of business by age bracket, but grew by 35 percent this year vs last year.  Whereas the 35+ female consumer accounted for 38 percent of the blend, but actually decreased by -16 percent.  The only true pocket of growth came from the 13 – 17 year-old female, who represent 21 percent of the blend and is the only age segment that have grown their share year-over-year.

We can debate for days about which is the bigger sales opportunity for the dress retailers out there in Canada: is it the millennial who holds the lion’s share of the category but under indexed in growth?  Is it the 35+ customer, who at 38 percent, is still a significant number in blend – but who has also experienced significant decline?  Or finally: is it in the future dress shoppers of tomorrow who show, at a young age, promise with respect to the all important metric of loyalty in this category.

While the debate rages on, what is clear, regardless of age bracket, is that this is one of the few women’s categories, outside of athletic wear, that posted strong gains this year vs last year.  The question that remains is how much stronger could it have been with a deeper understanding of the female consumer by age demand for this category.

Now perhaps if someone could create an optical illusion dress in black….we might be on to something.

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