Low prices and right fit will drive jeans sales in the US, Mintel research finds


Mintel’s latest report into the jeans market in the US, reveals consumers can never have too many pairs.

More than three in 10 American adults say they own between four and six pairs of jeans. Meanwhile 19% own seven to nine pairs and a surprising 17% own 10+ pairs of jeans. 

“While jeans tend to be a fairly static item in most consumers’ wardrobes, the category itself has been dynamic in terms of innovations in style, brands, features and overall product offerings,” said Ali Lipson, senior retail and apparel analyst at Mintel. “With such market triggers as more casual work environments, the obesity epidemic demanding plus size jean options and the growing Hispanic population and their purchasing power, we can expect to see this clothing category continue to grow.”

Nearly half (46%) of all jeans owners say they have spent between $25 and $49.99 on a single pair of jeans. Furthermore, 39% say they spend less than $25, while the average amount to spend on jeans is just over $34. This low price point is important for retailers to recognise if they want to reach the mass market, said Mintel.

In addition, nearly 60% of Americans who have purchased jeans in the last year did so to replace an old or worn out pair, while some 35% say they bought them to update their wardrobe and 28% bought them for no particular reason (they saw jeans they liked and bought them). Some 19% say they bought them to wear to work, which is an indication that office environments are allowing a more casual dress code or offering a dress down day for employees and another 19% bought a pair to wear when going out. Jeans are no longer just a casual article of clothing, but are often used when dressing up, too.

While more than four in 10 (42%) jeans owners say they have difficulty finding a pair that fits them well, it’s not surprising that 16% of consumers are willing to pay $100 or more for jeans with a great fit. However, 64% of shoppers say price/discount is the most important factor when buying jeans and 71% think most jeans are overpriced.

“While many consumers already own several pairs of jeans, there are opportunities for them to purchase additional pairs, either for replacement or to have a greater variety in their wardrobes,” said Lipson. “Retailers and manufacturers need to pay careful attention to price point and different styles and fits to accommodate the large consumer base for this category.”