Home » Research Articles » Always in fashion

Always in fashion

Your next read

Key takeouts

  • Newspaper media reaches 9 out of 10 fashion shoppers each month.
    • 13.9m shoe shoppers
    • 15.5m clothes shoppers
  • More likely to be in the biggest-spending 20%:
    • Women’s footwear and clothing: 13% more likely
    • Men’s footwear and clothing: 6% more likely
    • Children’s footwear and clothing: 20% more likely
  • Print readers shop more often:
    • 11% more likely to have bought from a clothing store in the last 3 months than non-readers.
  • Digital readers spend more than non-readers:
    • Men’s: 8% more on clothing, 6% more on shoes.
    • Women’s: 6% more on clothing, 8% more on shoes.
    • Children: 1% more on children’s, 12% more on shoes.


Clothing, footwear and personal accessories account for one out of every 12 dollars of retail spending. Last year $22.6 billion was spent on these items, with clothing alone accounting for $15 billion, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Although women enjoy shopping more than men – 43 per cent of women say they love to shop, compared with 23 per cent of men – it’s not just women who buy clothing, footwear, and personal accessories. Some 94 per cent of men bought clothing or footwear last year, and 97 per cent of women.

Newspaper media reaches 9 out of 10 these fashion shoppers each month, 15.5 million readers.

Earn more, spend more

Readers generally earn more than non-readers, and live in more affluent households. On average readers in full-time employment earn $81,600 p.a., 25 per cent more than non-readers, and have a household income of $123,700, 24 per cent higher than non-readers.

This is reflected in their spending habits.  Readers are considerably more likely to be in the top 20 per cent of spenders on clothing and footwear than non-readers:

  • Women’s footwear and clothing: 13% more likely
  • Men’s footwear and clothing: 6% more likely
  • Children’s footwear and clothing: 20% more likely

Frequent shoppers

Print readers shop for clothes more often than non-readers. They are 11 per cent more likely to have bought from a clothing store in the last three months than non-readers, favouring brands Best & Less (1.2m, 16 per cent more likely than non-readers), Millers (808,000, +48%),  and Katies (273,000, +54%).

These readers also look for clothing in department stores. In the past three months they’ve shopped at Target (4.9m), Kmart (4.7m), Big W (4.4m), Myer (2.5m) and David Jones (1.1m).

Digital readers spend more on fashion than non-digital readers. On their most recent purchase they spent

  • 8% more on men’s clothes, and 6% more on men’s shoes.
  • 6% more on women’s clothes, and 8% more on women’s shoes.
  • 1% more on children’s clothes, and 12% more on children’s shoes.

Digital readers do most of their shopping at the same clothing stores as print readers (Best & Less: 935,000, Millers: 571,000, Rivers: 554,000), but also over-index against many smaller stores  such as Ron Bennett (65% more likely), Surfection (+41%), Tarocash (+29%) Witchery (+27%) and Country Road (+46%).

And, in common with print readers, they shop for clothes in department stores: Target (4m), Kmart (3.9m), Big W (3.6m), Myer (2.1m) and David Jones (920,000).

Newspaper-inserted magazines (NIMs) are another valuable format for reaching the fashion-conscious. These magazines reach 3.3m fashion shoppers, including one out of three women 35+ in the AB socio-economic group.

Style advice

Shoppers turn to a wide-range of media when shopping for fashion, with print playing a key role. Just over one in four shoppers turn to magazines (including NIMs) and catalogues, one in five to TV, and one in six rely on newspapers. Online ads and social media play a smaller role, while outdoor ads and radio only appeal to a small percentage of buyers.

  • Media most useful when buying fashion
    • Magazines (incl. NIMs): 28%
    • Unaddressed mail/catalogues: 27%
    • TV: 22%
    • Newspapers: 16%
    • Online advertising: 15%
    • Social media: 10%
    • Outdoor advertising: 4%
    • Radio: 4%

Base: newspaper readers (1+ issues/week)

One in five consumers bought clothes online last year, some four million shoppers.

Some 22 per cent of consumers bought clothes online in the past 12 months. That’s 4 million shoppers happy to buy their clothes from e-retailers. The majority of these online shoppers, some 85 per cent, bought from an Australian fashion site.

Digital newspaper readers are active online shoppers. They are 13 per cent more likely to buy clothes online than non-digital readers.INFOGRAPHIC_FASHION_DIGITAL

Source: emma,12 months to December 2015. Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, people 14+, Nielsen Online Ratings, December 2015, people 14+ only. Estimates for 3-month department store clothing based on 3-month shopping x bought Clothing, Shores, Watches/Jewellery, Fashion Items in the past 12 months.

Related downloads