Over 60% of Poles declare that they buy clothing, footwear and accessories in a levelheaded way. 54% are ready to pay a higher price for wardrobe items made in Poland. In turn, nearly every third respondent is willing to pay more for a product produced in an ecological way – according to the report ‘Fashion market in Poland. Challenges.’

The study was created as part of the cooperation between KPMG in Poland with the Lazarski University of Business and Fashion Law.

Picture: Sara-Kurfeß / Unsplash

Nearly 80% of Poles buy new clothes or footwear at least once a quarter. Of these, 37% of respondents participating in the survey said they were trying to buy a new item once a month. Of all the wardrobe items, Poles most often buy clothing (82% of responses) or footwear (53% of responses).

According to 63% of Poles, their purchases are made in a levelheaded way, without succumbing to emotions. 55% of consumers compare prices on websites before choosing to buy a particular product, looking for the best prospect. Half of Poles declare that buying a specific, selected product is preceded by a long search for the right item of clothing.

– Polish consumers once again indicate that they make purchases, including fashion purchases, in a levelheaded way, not succumbing to momentary emotions and impulses. Our analysis shows that this attitude is common to both generation X, Y and Z.

Behaviour distinguishing the Z generation’s attitude during shopping is attaching greater importance to the brand’s philosophy and greater impact on decisions triggered by social, online or influencer advertisements – as indicated by Monika Palmowska, partner in the tax consultancy department at KPMG Polska.

Picture: Maksim-Larin / Unsplash

Poles spend most on purchases of outerwear and shoes

Polish consumers declare their largest expenditure is on jackets, coats and footwear. 26% of Poles devote over PLN 200 a month for the purchase of outerwear and footwear. In turn, consumers spend the least money on buying shirts and T-shirts. 69% of Poles spend more than PLN 100 a month on these items. Similarly, low expenses are characteristic for purchases of accessories – nearly 45% of consumers do not spend more than PLN 50 per month.

Picture: Florian Olivo / Unsplash

Most Poles dress in chain stores

Over half of Poles (56% of responses) most often shop in clothing stores. Such stores are most often chosen by 62% of the Z generation representatives, 55% of the Y generation and half of Poles born before 1979, i.e. the X generation.

Online stores with many brands, where 29% of Poles shop, are less popular, as are discount stores in which 20% of consumers buy clothing and footwear.

Increasingly, Poles’ shopping path begins on the Internet. On the web, consumers look for inspiration (68%), search for specific models of clothes or footwear (60%) and learn about the new collections offered by brands (66%).

Traditional stationary stores, however, are preferred by most consumers when they want to buy specific clothing (63% of responses), make a complaint or return a purchased item of clothing (66% of responses).

The online channel has already gained primacy and customers indicate strong preferences in its application, if we are talking about activities preceding the purchase of clothing and footwear. It is worth noting the rapidly growing role of the mobile channel: mobile applications or mobile internet. Their level of utilization at the purchasing exploration stage is very close to traditional channels.

Today, at the purchase stage, stationary stores dominate, but in the very near future due to technological solutions, such as e.g. 360 degrees rotation, online fitting room or VR / AR, the current shortcomings of the online channel will be eliminated – says Jan Karasek, partner in the service department consultancy at KPMG Polska.

A bargain is the most important purchasing factor for six out of ten Poles

Occasions and promotions or seasonal price reductions are the most important factor influencing the decision to buy a wardrobe item for 59% of Poles. Bargains are by far the most important purchasing factor for Z generation representatives. 64% make a decision to buy a given product because of its attractive, lower price.

Picture: Artem-Beliaikin / Unsplash

46% of Poles buy clothing or footwear when they need a new item, and 34% if they want to have a new item of clothing. The desire to have a new item is a more important purchasing factor for the youngest consumers (41% of respondents) compared to 34% of respondents of generation Y and 27% of generation X.

Poles prefer online shopping for products that they know well

Almost half of Poles (45% of responses) declare that they buy things online that they already know and that they have already used – thus, eliminating any worries about mismatching products.

No less an important factor prompting buying online is the possibility of a cost-free return of goods (43% of responses) and the attractive price of the product.

Four out of ten respondents are happy to buy things online that they have tried on in a stationary store. 16% of respondents declared that all wardrobe purchases were made online for the sake of saving time.

Time saving and key convenience when buying clothes and footwear online in Poland

Saving time is for 57% of Poles the biggest advantage of buying clothes or footwear online. Equally important are the price benefits, as indicated by 55% of respondents, and convenience of shopping (53% of responses).

Buying clothes online

The biggest disadvantage of shopping online is for 73% of Poles not being able to test the product or see it live. 31% of consumers complain about the long waiting time for shipment or other inconveniences associated with the delivery of their purchases.

The disadvantages indicated as the biggest disadvantages of shopping online are, ironically, also the biggest advantages of shopping in stationary stores. Consumers appreciate the opportunity to try on a product (70% of indications), see it live (45%) and immediately receive a purchased wardrobe item (25%).

The digitization of everyday life and the mass availability of mobile devices significantly shape the expectations and behaviour of customers. Two basic trends are expectations focused on personalisation and minimising the time and effort associated with the purchase. A good indicator of this trend is the fact that only 8% of consumers declare that going to stationary stores pleases them – says Jan Karasek, partner in the consulting services department of KPMG Polska.

Polish consumer values Polish products

Over half of Poles declare attachment to products that have been produced in Poland. 54% of respondents declared that they could pay extra for a piece of clothing with a Polish label.

Half of the survey respondents who are willing to pay a higher price for a product made in Poland indicate that such a surcharge should not be more than 10% compared to an analogous product of foreign origin. Every fourth respondent is ready to pay for a native product more than 11% to 20% of the initial price of the imported product.

Changing the way clothes are manufactured for the protection of the environment

Climate change is increasing consumer awareness and a gradual change in attitudes also in the field of fashion. Poles declare their option to pay higher prices for purchasing ecological products, but only every fourth Pole is ready to pay more for buying ecological clothes or footwear.

The higher price should not exceed 20% of the price of non-organic clothes – 84% of Poles think. Care for the environment is also manifested in the ways of handling used clothing – 22% of Poles throw away unworn clothing.

Reducing the negative impact of the fashion industry on the environment can be achieved, among others, by developing the concept of a clothes library. It allows the renting of a selected wardrobe item instead of buying it permanently. This concept has not yet been widely popularised. According to the results of the study, only 9% of Poles have heard about the library of clothes initiative.

How can clothing and footwear manufacturers reduce the negative impact of fashion on the environment? Polish consumers mention:

• change in the method of production (47% of responses),
• the ability to modify old collections (44% of responses),
• development of new, ecological materials (43% of responses).

About the report

KPMG Polska report, “Fashion market in Poland. Challenges’, was created on the basis of a study conducted in October 2019 on a nationwide sample of 1174 adult men and women from the ten largest cities in Poland. The subjects represented individual generations:

• X (386 people born before 1979),
• Y (403 people born between 1980 and 1990),
• From (385 people born after 1990).

The leitmotif of the report are the challenges facing the fashion industry, including in terms of differences between the approach to fashion of individual generations of consumers, their shopping preferences and the impact of eco trends on the fashion industry and consumer attitudes.

The survey was carried out using the CAWI online survey method among Norstat internet panel members.

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