Roy Morgan Research
March 29, 2016

Jean genies: shopping for denim jeans in Australia

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 6735

Skinny, straight-legged, stretch or flared: there’s a pair of denim jeans to suit all sartorial styles. In fact, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal that, in any given four-week period, more than 1.7 million Australians 14+ buy at least one pair of women’s and/or men’s denim jeans. So which are the most popular stores for jeans-shopping? Read on…

Heading the list for both women’s and men’s jeans is discount department store Kmart. Just over 11% (11.4%, to be precise) of the 1 million Australians who buy women’s jeans in an average four weeks do so at Kmart, a fraction ahead of the 11.1% who make their purchase at perennial rival, Target.

For the 700,000 people who buy men’s jeans in any given four weeks, Kmart is the store of choice for 12.5% of them, followed by Just Jeans (8.5%).

Five most popular stores for buying women’s and men’s jeans

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January–December 2015 (n=1,105)Base: Australians 14+ who bought denim jeans in last 4 weeks

As the chart above indicates, there is considerable crossover between the most popular stores for purchasing women’s and men’s jeans, with Kmart, Just Jeans, Target and Jeanswest appearing in the Top 5 for both. But whereas Big W (7.1%) comes in fourth for women’s jeans, Myer (7.7%) takes out fourth spot for men’s jeans.

Not surprisingly, different shops attract jeans-buyers of different ages. At Kmart, for example, shoppers who buy women’s jeans are far more likely to be from Generation Z* than any other generation. (Curiously, when it comes to buying men’s jeans from the same retailer, Gen Z is the generation least likely to make a purchase, with Generation X leading the way.)

Generation X is more likely than other generations to buy women’s jeans at Target, Just Jeans and Big W, while more Generation Y shoppers head to Jeanswest for both men’s or women’s jeans than any other retailer.

Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

Block Quote

Once worn primarily by cowboys and miners and later becoming the garment of choice for rebellious youth in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, denim jeans are now one of those fashion staples worn by people of all ages, sizes and backgrounds.

“The sheer diversity of styles ensures there’s a pair of jeans to suit everyone – whether you’re shopping for the latest high-price, high-fashion jeans or a cheap’n’cheerful pair. In fact, our data indicates that many Aussies opt for the lower-priced end of the jeans spectrum, with discount department store Kmart being the most popular retailer for men’s and women’s jeans.

“It is also interesting to see that, despite being embraced by all age groups, jeans remain particularly popular with the younger generations just as they did back in the 1950s. At 53% more likely than the average Aussie to buy women’s jeans and 18% more likely to buy men’s jeans in an average four weeks, Gen Z is without doubt the country’s most zealous jeans-buying generation. Besides Kmart, Cotton On rates especially highly with these young shoppers.

“Even when selling an item as popular as denim jeans, retailers need to be extremely clear about what kind of shopper they are targeting. While a consumer’s generation obviously influences his/her purchasing decisions, a myriad of other factors also make a difference: from shopping attitudes and socio-economic status to media consumption and leisure activities…all of which are measured by Roy Morgan Single Source data.”

* Roy Morgan ‘Generations’ definitions:

Pre-Boomers — Pre 1946; Baby Boomers — 1946-1960; Generation X — 1961-1975; Generation Y — 1976-1990; Generation Z — 1991-2005.

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Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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