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Britons amass £32k of unworn clothing in a lifetime

Lauretta Roberts
18 December 2018

Britons are hoarding unworn clothing worth tens of thousands of pounds over their lifetime, with the average couple amassing clothes worth more than £32,000 worth over their lifetime.

New research, based on the habits of 2,000 consumers, reveals that the average woman will amass £22,140 of unworn clothing (equivalent to the average house deposit for a first-time buyer) while men amass £10,811 worth.

Data-driven personalisation platform True Fit, which conducted the research, said nearly half of UK female shoppers (45%) admitted to having bought something online that they have never worn or have only worn once (44%) because of difficulties choosing items in the right style, fit, and size.

True Fit's data reveals that only 74% of clothing in wardrobes is worn leaving 26% untouched. Shoppers revealed that jeans were the trickiest item to buy online due to finding the right style and fit with 21% of women and 15% of men finding it difficult to buy the right item with trousers, dresses, boots and heels also proving problematic.

Some 77% of women now say they choose not to purchase clothing online because they are unsure of which styles suit them best and which size to buy. Half (50%) avoid certain retailers because the style, fit, and sizing of their clothes is unpredictable.

"There is so much disparity in retailers' sizing - with consumers' clothing fluctuating several dress sizes depending on where they shop, for example - it is leaving many shoppers confused and frustrated when shopping for fashion online," said True Fit business leader and fashion expert Lars Rabe.

"And it's not just bad for consumer confidence, it's also bad for the retailers themselves. Not only might they lose out on sales and erode customer loyalty, but they may also end up bearing the cost of fulfilling redundant items and orders - where shoppers order several items of the same product due to size uncertainty - as well as the cost of returns due to any combination of ordering items aren't right for a shopper's personal taste, body, or size," he added.

Romney Evens, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at True Fit, said: "The fact that half of the female consumers we polled avoid certain retailers due to inconsistencies in style, fit, and sizing is a clear indication of the confidence gap consumers face when shopping for fashion online.

"If retailers make recommendations for customers based on what they believe their average consumer would prefer, they are making that customer conform to an imaginary and inaccurate concept. This is where sophisticated AI technology can help - true one-to-one personalisation is needed to satisfy and delight consumers. This means making recommendations for that individual customer, not for people similar to them. Consumers are demanding an easier experience, and it's exciting to see leading retailers adopting this capability."

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