Friday, June 10th, 2016

Bras and knickers are big business in Australia, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal, with just over 2.5 million Australians 14+ buying women’s underwear* in any given four weeks, spending an average of $55 per person. This translates to a market worth more than $1.8 billion per year. Against this competitive backdrop, one retailer stands out from the pack, both in terms of customer numbers and total market dollar share – Target.

In an average four weeks, 576,000 Australians (or 22.5% of total women’s underwear shoppers) make at least one women’s underwear purchase at Target, putting it at number one for customer numbers in this product category.  Although Target shoppers spend a relatively modest average of $36 each (well below the national average), their sheer volume ensures that the discount department store holds the largest slice of the total women’s-underwear market in dollar terms (14.8%).

Meanwhile, its Wesfarmers stablemate, Kmart, attracts 447,000 women’s-underwear shoppers in an average four weeks, putting it in second place for customer numbers – but only sixth in terms of market share (8.5%). This discrepancy is due to Kmart customers’ average spend on women’s underwear being so low ($27).

Top 10 women’s-underwear retailers: market share (with average customer spend)


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2015 – March 2016 (n=1,993).

Best & Less secures third place for both customer numbers in an average four-week period (412,000) and for dollar share of the women’s-underwear market (9.9%). The average Best & Less shopper spends $34 per four weeks on women’s underwear.

Despite ranking fifth for shopper numbers, Myer has the second largest share of the total market (11.7%), thanks to its customers’ above-average four-weekly spend of $73. Still, compared with David Jones customers (who spend $88 on women’s underwear per four weeks) this can be seen as almost thrifty—and positively bargain-basement, when one considers that the average Victoria’s Secret shopper spends $158 on women’s underwear per four-week period.

* NB: Women’s underwear excludes socks and hosiery

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“In the Australian women’s underwear market, Target is queen, leading the field in customer numbers and in total dollar market share. While its customers may not spend a queen’s ransom on women’s underwear, there are well and truly enough of them to put the retailer on top of the market. Having also won the March and April Customer Satisfaction Awards for the Discount Department Store category, Target is setting a high bar all round.

“Roy Morgan data shows a distinctly mature skew among Target shoppers, with Pre-Boomers and Baby Boomers being the generations** most likely to buy women’s underwear there. However, just to keep things interesting, we find that Boomers are also more likely than the younger generations to buy women’s underwear from David Jones. On the other hand, Kmart tends to attract much greater proportions of Generation Y or Z shoppers than any other group…as does specialist retailer Bras N Things.

“Obviously, generation is just one variable influencing Australians’ women’s-underwear purchasing decisions. With Roy Morgan Single Source, savvy women’s-underwear brands and retailers can gain a far deeper understanding of the consumers most likely to buy their products, with insights gleaned from our powerful blend of demographic, attitudinal and behavioural data — allowing them to identify and communicate with their target market much more effectively.”

**NB: Roy Morgan ‘Generations’ definitions: Pre-Boomers — Born pre-1946; Baby Boomers — born 1946-1960; Generation X — born 1961-1975; Generation Y — born 1976-1990; Generation Z — born 1991-2005.


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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268


retail, target, discount department stores, women's underwear, lingerie, myer, best & less, big w, BNT, Kmart, Bonds, David Jones, Cotton On, Victoria's Secret




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