Tamara Sender
Tamara Sender is a Senior Fashion Retail Analyst at Mintel. She researches and writes for Mintel's UK Fashion Reports.

Mintel’s latest research on youth fashion in the UK shows that young people are increasingly feeling the economic squeeze. One in four 16-24s described their financial situation as “Tight – I am making ends meet, but only just”, which has risen from one in six the previous year.

At the same time, there has been an almost 10 percentage point drop in young people stating that they are “OK – I get by, but there’s not a lot left” in the last year and a slight rise in those stating that they are struggling, although this group still remains small.

Young people are cutting back on their discretionary spending and Mintel’s research shows that as a result of this fashion has become less of a priority, with an eight percentage point fall in 16-24s spending their extra money on clothing and jewellery to just over a third in the last 12 months. More young consumers are now putting money in their savings account than spending it on buying new clothes.

Young people are also reining in their spend on going out and dining out, as well as their purchases of books and DVDs.

Young retailers need to show empathy with their squeezed customers

As young people become more money conscious they are increasingly being lured away from mid-market high street retailers to value retailers such as Primark, which continues to tick the boxes for cheap trend-led clothes.

In an already competitive youth fashion market, young fashion retailers need to do all they can to retain these shoppers and to show that they understand the financial pressures that young people are facing.