Changes in the social and economic base of the UK population have meant that there has been a steady increase in the number of adults who are classified, in socio-economic terms, as either ABs or C1s. In the year ending March 2000, the proportion of ABC1s and C2DEs in the population of Great Britain was roughly equal; by the year to September 2009, 55.8% could be classified as ABC1s and 44.2% as C2DEs.
Key Note's research findings clearly show the effects the economic crisis has had on ABC1s. In 2005, more than half of those surveyed said that their financial situation was better than it was 2 years previously, while just one in five said that it was worse; by 2010, the proportion of ABC1s who felt better off financially had dropped to just over four in ten, while those who felt worse off than they did 2 years previously had risen to a third.
Key Note's research reveals that many ABC1 consumers are happy to buy clothing from discount retailers and supermarkets. The recent financial crisis has no doubt strengthened this trend, although there are still some environmental and ethical concerns about the idea of cheap `throwaway' clothing and the methods used in its manufacture.
The middle market has suffered particularly from the credit crunch, and a number of high-street fashion names have been casualties during the past 2 years. However, the more upmarket fashion brands seem to have been more resilient, with many going from strength to strength. (taken from executive summary)
The report is available to current London Business School staff, students and faculty from Key Note Online which can be found on the A-Z list of library databases via Portal.