The Key Apparel Market Segments

The categorization of the apparel market can be done in many different ways. However, the apparel market is broadly divided into two main categories Mass market and Specialty apparel in the context of the garment production. This article will give garment manufacturers a brief idea about the different market segments of apparel importer countries. Those, who are planning for opening a new business in the apparel retail as well as in apparel manufacturing, also get an overview about the apparel market segmentation.

The mass market, which covers a very wide range of consumers, is further divided into Branded - those carrying nationally or internationally recognized brand names and Private label merchandise - also known as “house brands” because they are sold in individual company’s stores. 
Because of the large volume of goods sold in the mass market, supplying apparel retailers in this category generally requires very large production, short delivery times, close proximity to ports and international shipping routes, and very low prices.

Specialty markets, or niche markets, are more narrowly focused. Specialty markets include designer clothes, work apparel and uniforms (further segmented into military, prison, health care workers, food service workers, athletic teams, etc.), bridal wear, and other special purpose clothing. While some specialty clothing—such as certain types of health care workers’ uniforms—requires high-tech fabrics and or ultramodern apparel finishing techniques. 

The Key apparel market segments

Jason Mercer categorised apparel industry into five segments: haute couture, luxury, affordable luxury, mainstream and discount in the context apparel business. All categories are briefly explained in the following. 

Haute couture is the most expensive and exclusive of the segments. It is made up of a handful of companies which produce custom-made clothing for the world's wealthiest individuals.

The luxury segment is a step down in terms of quality and price, but still serves a wealthy clientele.

Affordable luxury targets "aspirational" consumers, those who are not rich enough to afford luxury brands but will accept lower-priced alternatives.

Mainstream brands -The goal of mainstream brands is a mass appeal; they sacrifice an air of exclusivity for popularity.

Discount brands cater to low-income consumers.

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