Primark is poised to topple Asda’s George from the top value fashion market share spot.

A Verdict Research study seen by Retail Week forecasts Primark’s share of the value clothing market will have grown to 17.67 per cent this year – up from 16.50 per cent in 2007.

The report, UK Value Clothing Retailers 2008, revealed that George has increased its market share by 0.04 percentage points on last year and is forecast to come in behind Primark with 16.94 per cent share.

Verdict Research lead retail analyst Maureen Hinton said: “Primark has the advantage of a young customer base between 16 and 24 and those will carry on spending through a tough period.”

Sainsbury’s is forecast to have increased its market share by 0.92 percentage points on last year to command a 4.25 per cent share of the market in 2008. Its rate of growth was second only to Primark.

The grocers are expected to bolster their share of spend by£600 million by the end of this year, based on space growth rather than like-for-likes.
Verdict expects the£8.8 billion value clothing market will return to positive like-for-like territory in 2008 – up 0.2 per cent this year – driven by growth at Primark and Peacocks. However, Hinton said the sector has matured and growth is “slowing considerably”.

“It is being challenged by the rest of the market,” she said. “Value retailers can’t trade on price alone anymore.”