Women attending country race meets during this year’s Victorian Spring Racing Carnival could spend over $4.0 million on 32,000 hats.
Based on a conservative spend of $125 per hat the five largest race meets in Geelong, Cranbourne, Bendigo, Ballarat and Dunkeld could attract over $1.2 million in hat purchases by women. [See predictions below].
“The total spend by women at country race meets represents around one quarter of the predicted $15.5 million that women could spend on hats and headpieces to attend this year’s Spring Racing Carnival”, said Kerry I'Anson, Joint Managing Director of online millinery retailer Alice goes Out™.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics horse racing is the second most popular spectator sport in Australia, attracting 925,000 women each year. It is estimated that around 320,000, or 35% of all women who attend the races participate in Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival and of these, around 81,500 attend associated country meets.
In Australia hat wearing is predominately associated with attending racing events and in particular, the Spring Racing Carnival.
“Women choose their racing head wear carefully. The right hat can make or break an outfit and women intimately understand this. This makes purchasing a hat a very personal choice and often a very emotive decision”, Kerry said.
If attendance figures in 2014 remain similar to 2013, and based on Spring Racing Carnival data, around 62,000 hats could be purchased for the Melbourne Cup Carnival alone.
“Based on this, women could spend up to $7.75 million during this year’s four-day Flemington meet and another $7.8 million on other major metropolitan and regional race meets”, forecast Kerry.
"These figures do not include inter-State races and supporting events – breakfasts, lunches and charity functions – held during the Spring Racing Carnival and where hat wearing is considered mandatory”, Kerry said.
Like all retail sectors the millinery industry has a strong online presence. Alice goes Out™ is believed to be the first Australian head wear brand to offer 360 degree rotation of all hats. The company will soon offer virtual try-on which will allow customers to upload a photograph to see the style of the hat on their head prior to purchase.
“We noticed a gap in the millinery market for the type of customer experience we offer. We want to provide our customers with peace of mind in their purchase decision.
"Wearing a headpiece that perfectly complements an outfit and her features makes a woman feel beautiful and we love the idea of this!" Kerry said.
Race meets where more than $50,000 could be spent on head wear
- Sportingbet Geelong Cup Day ( $386,000)
- TAB Cranbourne Cup Day ($234,000)
- Jayco Bendigo Cup Day ($234,000)
- Royal Mail Hotel William Thomson Dunkeld Cup Day ($187,000)
- Sportsbet.com.au Ballarat Cup Day ($164,000)
- The WIN Network Moe Cup Day ($152,000)
- Easycoat Plumbtec Sale Cup Day ($129,000)
- NMIT Kyneton Cup Day ($129,000)
- Pyrenees Winemakers Avoca Cup Day ($117,000)
- Darley Seymour Cup ($86,500)
- Benalla Gold Cup Day ($70,000)
- TAB Werribee Cup Day ($70,000)
- Agfarm Manangatang Cup Day ($58,500)
- Elders Mt Wycheproof Cup Day ($58,500)
- Moyne Shire Mortlake Cup Day ($51,500)
Forecasts are based on attendance by women. (According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 48% of those attending the races are women. It is estimated by Alice goes Out™ that around 40% of these women will purchase a new hat.)
From the 2014 Alice goes Out™ spring/summer collection:
- Knockout Nancy ($290) – featuring an over-sized hand-crafted layered feather flower in deep navy.
- Cover me Clementine ($235) – fashionable brimmed black hat featuring a beautiful cream hand-made flower and delicate spray of feathers.
- Piquing Charlie ($170) – delicate lace covered medium-sized cocktail shaped headpiece in bronze features a spray of feathers and ostrich spine.
- Lizzie Lair ($265) – a burst of black, white, grey and silver feathers
- Birdie in Hand ($195) – delicate champagne coloured cocktail base covered with an edgy race lace with stiffened sinamay netting to give flattering height and to draw attention to the face.
Model: Katrina Cassey
Styling: Monique Lockett
Clothing: A Shop Called Moth
Alice goes Out
Alice goes Out™ is an online headwear retailer specialising in hats and headpieces for the races, street, evening and special occasions. It is believed to be the first Australian-owned headwear brand, and only the second in the world, to offer both 360 degree rotation and a virtual fitting room which allows customers to upload a photograph to see the style of a hat on their head prior purchase. The Alice goes Out™ collection blends the latest colours, shapes and finest materials into highly desirable hats, fascinators and headpieces. The Melbourne-based brand was launched in September 2014 is owned by Ansonia Pty Ltd.
M: 0419 004 920