Consumer spending on clothing and footwear powers ahead in 2015

Today’s Office for National Statistics publication of the annual consumer spending figures highlights another increase in consumer spending on clothing and footwear during 2015.  The value of consumer spend now stands at £65.9bn using the chained value measure and £66.1bn using the current price indicator.

For both measures this represents a five per cent increase in value on the previous year.  Additionally, the final quarter that includes the traditional bouyant Christmas period showed the greatest level of transactions of record.

Figure 1: Clothing and footwear consumer spending (chained value measure and current prices both seasonally adjusted)Consumer spending chained value measure 2015Source: Office for National Statistics

Using the chained value measure allows us to understand what consumer habits have changed over both the past year and also the longer term.

Most striking is the deline in cleaning and hire of clothing and footwear spend in 2015 whilst the purchase of clothing materials and footwear saw strong growth.

Over the longer term ten year view, consumer spending on materials, garments, accessories and footwear has all increased where as hire, repair and cleaning activities have all decreased.  This in many ways indicates the price deflation experienced by the UK consumer for clothing and footwear goods as sourcing options from lower cost producers became increasingly available during this period.

Table 1: Consumer spending on specific clothing and footwear items (Chained Value Measure)

Chained value measure by itemSource: Office for National Statistics




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