Posted on Nov 20, 2014

A report, a first for the UK, released today looks into three key areas; addressing issues on body confidence, shopping behaviours and attitudes towards ageing.

Commissioned by the UK's leading fashion retailer targeting fifty plus women, JD Williams (part of the N Brown Group plc) in association with YouGov, offers the first comprehensive insight into the 'forgotten fifties'.


The mature market currently stands as the UK's fastest growing fashion sector, which is now worth £6.7bn and is emerging as Britain's most powerful consumer group.


The study makes interesting reading and reveals a population that feels neglected by the High Street, under-represented in the media and fearing health problems associated with ageing.


Other headlines include:


  1. Just 20% of mature women feel well catered for on the high street and 61% feel that their age group is forgotten.
  2. 66% of mature women feel they would like to see more choice from fashion retailers suited to their age group.
  3. Women aged 50+ are feeling much more secure about their style – only 19% said that they struggle to find their style identity. 71% of women aged 50+ rated comfort over style.
  4. Only 16% of mature women like to be loyal to a particular fashion store.
  5. Almost three out of five British women aged 50+ don't feel their age group is well represented in TV (57%) or magazines (58%), and 76% feel they are not well represented in advertising – these feelings increase with age.
  6. 94% of 50+ year olds feel younger than their age.
  7. Nine out of ten British women aged 50+ (91%) are scared of the health problems associated with growing older, particularly losing independence and having to rely on others (69%), and memory loss (64%). Just 10% of mature women are scared about getting wrinkles.
  8. 52% of women felt most confident aged 45+.
  9. Stomach (64%), upper arms (35%) and thighs (28%) are areas of the body mature women feel most negative about.
  10. Almost eight out of ten (77%) mature women would never have any form of cosmetic surgery.
  11. Jeans are the most favoured item of fashion for mature women.


Angela Spindler, CEO, N Brown Group PLC said: "There are more women in the 50+ bracket than ever before and it's abundantly clear that they have felt let down by the fashion industry. We've made it our mission to address this. Shopping for clothes should be easy and enjoyable whether you're 16 or 60."


"Recent years have seen this population of women emerge as the most powerful consumer group and the fastest growing fashion sector. No longer does 50 signal the start of the slow decline into old age, it now marks the midpoint of a woman's life.


"We hope this report heralds a wake-up call to the fashion, retail and media industries to give these women what they want, in the way we do. It's our job to empower; after all ignoring them should be done with peril."


The field work was carried out online in October 2014, involving over 2,000 women aged 50+. This ran alongside a smaller survey involving 540 women aged between 18 to 49, in order to ascertain relevant comparison.


JD Williams introduced a complete brand re-launch for AW14 based on extensive customer insight. The new concept offers a fresh, fashionable product range and inspiring creative presentation across print and online, aimed at making shopping for fashion easier and more enjoyable.


Click here to download the report