Few Hate Shopping For Clothes, but Love of It Varies By Country

    New York, N.Y. – June 24, 2011 – There are some people who just love to go clothes shopping. Then there are others who only do so when the clothes they currently own are literally wearing out and need to be replaced. Depending on where in the world one lives, there is a penchant for loving or hating shopping for clothes. In the U.S., there is a clear divide as 39% say they like shopping for clothes, and three in ten each say they neither like nor dislike it (30%) and dislike it (30%).

    In other countries it is more clear and mostly in favor of shopping. Over nine in ten in India (92%) say they like shopping for clothes with over half (58%) saying they love it. Majorities in China (79%), Singapore (69%), Spain (60%), Italy (60%) and Great Britain (53%) all like clothes shopping as do just under half of Germans (47%). French adults are like Americans and a little divided on the issue with 38% liking it, 32% neither liking nor disliking clothes shopping and 30% disliking it.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll conducted online among 9,222 adults in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and India (June 1 and 10, 2011), the U.S (May 24 and 26, 2011) and Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy (May 25 and June 1, 2011).

    Brand name importance in clothes purchases

    In China and India, brand names are more important than in the rest of the countries surveyed. Almost three-quarters of adults in both India (74%) and China (72%) say brand names are important to them when purchasing clothes and fashion accessories. Around three-quarters of adults in Germany (78%), Great Britain (76%), France (75%), the U.S. (74%), Spain (72%), and Italy (72%) as well as two-thirds of adults in Singapore (64%) say brand names are not important to them when purchasing clothes or fashion accessories.

    In China and India part of the importance of brand names may be because of perception of quality. Over nine in ten Chinese adults (92%) and 89% of Indian adults agree that good brand names provide better value due to quality. Although adults in other countries may place less importance on labels when shopping, they do agree that brand names provide better value due to quality-majorities of adults in Singapore (75%), the U.S. (65%), Italy (63%), and France (53%) as well as just under half of Britons (48%) and Germans (47%) say so.

    Last purchases

    When it comes to making clothing purchases two in five adults in India (44%) and China (42%) made a purchase in the last week, while one-third of those in Great Britain (33%) and Singapore (32%) and three in ten in Germany (31%), Italy (29%) and Spain (28%) as well as one-quarter of Americans (26%) made their last purchase more than a week ago but in the past month. Three in ten French adults (29%) made their last clothing purchase more than a month ago, but less than three months ago.

    Looking at why the last clothing purchases were made, reasons vary. Half of Italians (49%) and Spaniards (49%), two in five Germans (43%) and French (41%) and just over one-third of Americans (36%) and Britons (34%) say their most recent acquisition was a necessary purchase. Two in five adults in Singapore (41%) and China (40%) made their last purchase because they were just browsing and the item caught their eye while one-quarter of Indians (25%) say they made their recent purchase for a specific occasion.

    So What?

    In some countries, like China and India, when marketing clothes it is important to highlight the brand names but in other countries, that does not seem to be as important to purchasing decisions. What is important in 8 of the 9 countries surveyed is an emphasis on classics rather than trendy. In every country but Spain, majorities agree with the statement I tend to purchase classics versus trends. As these countries are still coming out of the economic downturn, each at their own pace, clothing manufacturers should keep this in mind as they roll out new lines.

     

    TABLE 1

    FEELINGS REGARDING SHOPPING FOR CLOTHING

    We would now like to talk about your shopping habits. Which of the following statements best describes how much you like or dislike shopping for clothes?

    Base: All adults

    United States

    China

    India

    Singapore

    Great Britain

    France

    Germany

    Spain

    Italy

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Likes shopping for clothes (NET)

    39

    79

    92

    69

    53

    38

    47

    60

    60

    I love shopping for clothes.

    14

    32

    58

    26

    26

    11

    14

    22

    15

    I like shopping for clothes.

    26

    46

    34

    43

    27

    27

    32

    38

    45

    I neither like nor dislike shopping for clothes.

    30

    19

    8

    30

    24

    32

    33

    29

    25

    Dislikes shopping for clothes (NET)

    30

    3

    1

    1

    23

    30

    20

    12

    14

    I dislike shopping for clothes.

    19

    2

    1

    14

    20

    15

    10

    11

    I hate shopping for clothes.

    12

    1

    1

    9

    9

    5

    2

    3

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 2

    IMPORTANCE OF BRAND NAMES

    How important are brand names to you, if at all, when purchasing clothes and fashion accessories?

    Base: All adults

    United States

    China

    India

    Singapore

    Great Britain

    France

    Germany

    Spain

    Italy

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Important (NET)

    26

    72

    74

    36

    24

    26

    22

    29

    28

    Very important

    4

    19

    23

    4

    7

    3

    3

    2

    2

    Important

    21

    53

    51

    32

    17

    22

    19

    26

    26

    Not important (NET)

    74

    28

    26

    64

    76

    75

    78

    72

    72

    Not that important

    48

    24

    21

    54

    41

    49

    49

    50

    51

    Not at all important

    27

    4

    5

    10

    35

    26

    29

    22

    21

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 3

    LAST MADE A CLOTHING PURCHASE

    When did you last make a clothing purchase yourself?

    Base: All adults

    United States

    China

    India

    Singapore

    Great Britain

    France

    Germany

    Spain

    Italy

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Within the last month (NET)

    45

    78

    80

    57

    63

    50

    52

    53

    52

    In the last week

    18

    42

    44

    25

    30

    23

    21

    25

    23

    More than a week ago but in the last month

    26

    36

    36

    32

    33

    28

    31

    28

    29

    A month or more ago (NET)

    55

    22

    20

    43

    37

    50

    47

    47

    48

    More than a month ago but less than three months ago

    25

    15

    13

    25

    21

    29

    24

    27

    26

    More than three months ago

    31

    7

    7

    18

    16

    21

    23

    20

    22

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 4

    TYPE OF RECENT CLOTHING PURCHASE

    Thinking about your most recent clothing purchases, which one of the following best describes the main reason you made those purchases?

    Base: All adults

    United States

    China

    India

    Singapore

    Great Britain

    France

    Germany

    Spain

    Italy

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    It was a necessary purchase.

    36

    19

    23

    21

    34

    41

    43

    49

    49

    It was on sale and I couldn’t resist the bargain.

    20

    15

    10

    20

    16

    20

    11

    13

    14

    I was just browsing and it caught my eye.

    19

    40

    22

    41

    23

    22

    27

    23

    24

    It was for a specific occasion.

    15

    9

    25

    11

    18

    10

    11

    10

    7

    It was the latest trend; I absolutely had to have it.

    2

    17

    18

    4

    3

    2

    2

    1

    2

    Another reason

    9

    1

    2

    3

    5

    5

    7

    4

    3

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 5

    AGREEMENT ABOUT STATEMENTS

    To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?

    Summary for those who agree (Strongly agree + somewhat agree)

    Base: All adults

    United States

    China

    India

    Singapore

    Great Britain

    France

    Germany

    Spain

    Italy

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    I tend to purchase classics versus trends.

    74

    71

    70

    53

    58

    60

    57

    40

    57

    I love to get a bargain, even if it’s not a brand name as long as it’s trendy.

    66

    39

    72

    77

    68

    44

    63

    65

    64

    I believe good brand names provide better value due to quality.

    65

    92

    89

    75

    48

    53

    47

    41

    63

    I need my fashion to be branded.

    16

    67

    77

    30

    23

    17

    16

    27

    24

    I like to be the first of my friends to have the latest trend.

    16

    63

    63

    24

    23

    9

    13

    21

    13

    I keep up with the latest collections announced by fashion houses.

    15

    63

    66

    30

    22

    15

    14

    24

    29

     

    TABLE 6

    IMPORTANCE OF BRAND NAMES FOR VARIOUS ITEMS

    How important are brand names to you, if at all, when purchasing each of the following types of clothes?

    Summary for those who said it is important (Very important + Important)

    Base: All adults

    United States

    China

    India

    Singapore

    Great Britain

    France

    Germany

    Spain

    Italy

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Shoes

    46

    85

    85

    61

    36

    43

    42

    47

    61

    Jeans

    41

    70

    77

    46

    32

    36

    38

    40

    40

    Cosmetics/Fragrances

    39

    80

    83

    64

    46

    61

    41

    48

    61

    Watches

    34

    83

    87

    69

    38

    40

    35

    46

    59

    Lingerie/Underwear

    29

    61

    76

    39

    28

    33

    21

    35

    34

    Casual wear

    27

    70

    63

    37

    29

    22

    28

    31

    30

    Formal wear

    27

    85

    79

    60

    31

    39

    23

    40

    43

    Sunglasses

    22

    65

    77

    47

    27

    39

    23

    52

    60

    Bags

    20

    75

    66

    49

    25

    22

    17

    23

    32

    Jewelry

    20

    79

    70

    51

    24

    22

    19

    25

    31

     

     

    TABLE 7

    BRANDED ITEMS ON SALE

    If you were to get a branded item on sale, which one of the following would you be more likely to do?

    Base: All adults

    United States

    China

    India

    Singapore

    Great Britain

    France

    Germany

    Spain

    Italy

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    I would be more likely to tell my friends about the great deal I got.

    89

    89

    90

    88

    84

    92

    83

    87

    88

    I would be more likely not to tell my friends and let them believe I paid full price.

    11

    11

    10

    12

    16

    8

    17

    13

    12

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States (from May 24 to 26), Singapore, Hong Kong, India and China (from June 1 to 10, 2011) and Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy (from May 25 to June 1, 2011) among 9,222 adults (aged 18 and over). The number of people surveyed in each country is as follows:

    Country

    People surveyed

    China

    500

    India

    500

    Singapore

    300

    United States

    2,309

    Great Britain

    1,293

    France

    1,179

    Germany

    1,058

    Spain

    1,019

    Italy

    1,064

    Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

    The Harris Poll® #77, June 24, 2011

    By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll, Public Relations and Youth and Education Research