Brand Longevity

Saturday, Jan 12 2019 by

I posted the below at the end of a Small Cap report just now, but feel it may deserve it's own thread:

Genuine question for any readers here:
Are you still wearing the same brands you wore 5/10/15 years ago?

I personally hardly ever buy clothes (frugal/can't be bothered/happy to get the annual jumper present at Christmas) so it's hard for me to answer my own question with respect to the potential longevity of a brand such as Sosandar (LON:SOS)

If I had to pick one brand that has lasted within my own closet it would have to be Zara, but that's mainly because the missus likes it.

Any informative opinions would therefore be appreciated. If you bought a brand such as Sosandar (LON:SOS) now do you think you would still be using them in 5-10 years? And if not, does that mean the key aim for a brand such as Sosandar (LON:SOS) is to constantly target new customers to replace the old who might only last a few years before moving on?


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Sosandar PLC, formerly Orogen PLC, is a United Kingdom-based company that operates an online women’s wear platform. The Company’s clothing categories include dresses, jackets and coats, knitwear, shirts and blouses, tops, skirts, trousers, jeans, leggings, footwear, leather and suede, occasion wear, work wear, autumn trends, velvet and holiday shop. Its footwear products include Pewter Metallic Chelsea Boot, Red Leather Ankle Boot, Velvet Cylinder Heel Ankle Boot, Black Leather Stud Detail Ankle Boot, Black Suede Closed Toe Mule, Grey Velvet Court Shoe With Jeweled Brooch, Black Suede And Pewter Metallic Court Shoe, Black Leather Front Zip Ankle Boot, Leopard Print Leather Chelsea Boot, Steel Blue Leather Snake Print Ankle Boot And Black Suede Knee Boot. It also offers latest edit of day-to-night dresses, on-trend separates, luxe leather and outfit-topping shoes through its platform. more »

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NEXT plc is a United Kingdom-based retailer offering clothing, footwear, accessories and home products. The Company's segments include NEXT Retail, a chain of over 500 stores in the United Kingdom and Eire; NEXT Directory, an online and catalogue shopping business with over four million active customers and international Websites serving approximately 70 countries; NEXT International Retail, with approximately 200 mainly franchised stores; NEXT Sourcing, which designs and sources NEXT branded products; Lipsy, which designs and sells Lipsy branded younger women's fashion products, and Property Management, which holds properties and property leases which are sub-let to other segments and external parties. Lipsy also sells directly through its own stores and Website, to wholesale customers and to franchise partners. The Company's franchise partners operate approximately 180 stores in over 30 countries. more »

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Industria de Diseno Textil SA, known as Inditex SA, is a Spain-based company primarily engaged in the textile industry. The Company’s activities include the design, confection, manufacturing, distribution and retail of men, women and children apparel, footwear and fashion accessories, as well as home furnishings and household textile products. The Company’s business is divided into three segments: Zara, which provides various fashion and home items under the Zara brand name; Bershka, offering clothes under the Bershka brand name, which aims at teenagers, and Other, which retails apparel under Stradivarius, Oysho, Pull&Bear and Massimo Dutti brand names, among others. The Company operates worldwide through numerous subsidiaries. It is controlled by Pontegadea Inversiones SL. more »

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14 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

JohnEustace 12th Jan 1 of 14

I’m still wearing some of the same clothes I wore 15 years ago, never mind the same brand!

I do tend to go back to the same brands but am often disappointed when the quality has gone downhill. That’s what prompts me to look elsewhere.

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jonesj 13th Jan 2 of 14

For me brands are important for products where reliability matters (washing machines, Tv's etc)

With clothes, if something is good, I eventually go back and buy another one, assuming that fashion has not resulted in it being deleted.

In the case of Uniqlo, I liked their jeans so much that I bought only their product for several years. Then in 2018, just as a couple of pairs were wearing out, they inexplicably started stocking nothing but 34" inside leg. Perhaps buying jeans too long is fashionable, but whatever happened to giving the customer a choice ?
As a result of their stupidity, my business went elsewhere. I am not at all surprised to see the parent company, Fast Retail (Japan) report poor trading recently. Incidentally, I should have bought the stock after seeing their stores in Tokyo in about 2004, as they have approximately 10 bagged.

Other errors retailers make is designing pockets that are not deep enough. Smartphones have got bigger & pockets need to be deep enough so the phone does not stick out. Why lose a sale for a quantity of fabric that costs almost nothing ?
Also why do some make jackets with no inside pockets, even at high price points ?

I reckon the major clothes retailers need some kind of marketability check process to make sure the products will satisfy the customers needs. Car makers do this.

One thing is clear, looking through the rear view mirror, there have been some fantastic long term retail growth stories, such as Fast Retail, Inditex and H&M. The difficulty is figuring out when will they turn into another BHS, C&A or Debenhams. Newer retailers which are well managed and have the scope to grow domestically or globally might be the place to look.

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James RH 13th Jan 3 of 14

Good question abtan.

I agree with jonesj above. I'm more likely to select a brand that I trust and use with ease for white goods, electronics etc, rather than clothes.

My last three TVs have all been LG and my previous three phones were Sony Ericsson however they didn't have any I liked this time so, knowing I like the LG brand, bought an LG phone and it's yet to let let me down.

Clothes wise, I only buy them when I absolutely need to. I'm still wearing jumpers bought years ago - if there's nothing wrong with them then I'll keep them. I don't specifically go for branded goods (Nike, A&F, Levi etc.). If you call Primark a brand then I guess I do otherwise I'm happy with a simple bit of clothing and if I can get a few years out of it before it wears out then so much the better.

I used to buy online (obviously not Primark) but was sending too much back as it certainly looked better on that taller, more toned model than me, so only go in-store now as I couldn't be doing with the hassle.

The only exception is that I do love Next for their shoes. Have had several pairs from there, always fit great and I find the quality good enough that they last a number of years.

Just my thoughts.


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Zipmanpeter 13th Jan 4 of 14

Not sure we should look to Stockopedia reader's personal experience for an answer! I'd expect Stockopedia members to be overwhelmingly male, older (ave 55-60?) and avove averagely concerned with price/function than newness/fashion. These "proud to be frugal" shoppers (of whom I am one) are not the group that set the clothing tills ringing. (Personally, I have clothes from the 90's, waiting for the polyester to "wear out" supplemented by a few big brand items bought 2nd hand from ebay/charity shops. But my 17 year old son.........

Serious shoppers will prefer to keep buying the same provided it stays good value and contemporary - and relevant.

Brands like BooHoo/Missguided have a short natural life with any shopper in the same way diapers do: you literally grow out of them in both cases perhaps! Similarly brands with a very strong and distinctive fashion skew will burn through as fashion changes (think Crocs) although some can attract an ageing consumer base for years (Laura Ashley, French Connection).

Brands which are more mainstream find it it easier to evolve eg Next. It is rarely cutting edge but reliably and conveniently provides comfortable fashion for everyday life. It also can be worn from age 25 to 65, so lifetime brand value can be very high and customer retention cost relatively low.

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tournesol 13th Jan 5 of 14

I was in a Rohan shop last week. They had a poster on the wall saying that they had received reports that care labels in trousers sold in the 1980's had regrettably become illegible after 30-40 years wear and laundering. They were offering to supply printed care instructions on request and went on to say that anyone who had the original purchase receipt could swap their 1980's trousers for a new pair for free.

Struck a chord with me. I am still wearing shoes, shirts and overcoats bought in the mid 80's. I don't suppose I'm the target customer for any retailer, online or not.

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millen 13th Jan 6 of 14

Obviously there's enormous brand loyalty in very many spheres - cars, newspapers, banks, operating systems, cameras (and other hobbies), supermarkets, bands, radio name a few. Some of these will endure for decades; others will gradually evolve as our tastes develop and our affluence waxes and wanes.

But I'd have thought for the average middle-age or older bloke, regardless of affluence, there's little brand loyalty in clothes. My Dad always shopped at Austin Read, but that's no more and he was of an older generation. The generation before him would have been loyal to one tailor. I have certain hates - eg wouldn't be seen dead in M&S - but no positive likes. My last purchase was something labelled Florence n' Fred, which sounded quite groovy. Stuff you see on Amazon/ eBay often doesn't have a clear brand anyway.

But surely this board is the last place to find views on clothing brand loyalty; wouldn't Mumsnet deliver stronger information?

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Bonitabeach 13th Jan 7 of 14

In reply to post #435638

They were offering to supply printed care instructions on request and went on to say that anyone who had the original purchase receipt could swap their 1980's trousers for a new pair for free.
Rohan can be very sure of a nil or negligble take-up on those offers!

My sartorial regrets involve too many now mainly redundant suits and ties. Business life no longer demands such a uniform on a regular basis.


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Fegger 13th Jan 8 of 14

In reply to post #435633

I agree. There are mainstream brands that will last. And trendier that wont. The trick is finding the mainstream that will last - usually this comes down to good management and probably a bit of luck.

And with regard to recent questioning of Pauls concentration on retailers. It would be daft not to comment on a specialty on which you are very knowledgeable. And also on which good money can be made. Retailers prices vary a lot across the years with often large increases and decreases. That is why they are so interesting to get a knowledgeable view on as good returns (ha) can be made on buying them on the lows where you can see a reason for the low that will soon not apply.

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tournesol 13th Jan 9 of 14


I'd quite about forgotten my world class tie collection. I used to be really into ties and ended my working life with around 80 including some very special ones. Sonia Rykiel, Fornasetti, Trewlove and Herby Frogg were my favourites. I rarely wear them now but can't bring myself to dispose of them. Some of them date back to the 70's…….


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abtan 13th Jan 10 of 14

In reply to post #435553

Thanks John, interesting insight

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abtan 13th Jan 11 of 14

In reply to post #435578

Hi jonesj

Interestingly enough, I too only buy jeans from Uniqlo and for the moment I will continue to do so. I wouldn't say it's out of loyalty - I'm sure there are other places where I can buy jeans of a similar fit and price - I just don't want to waste time looking around for another place; they are after all, only a pair of jeans. So perhaps my apathy to shop around IS my loyalty to a brand?

I particularly liked your following comment:
",,,there have been some fantastic long term retail growth stories, such as Fast Retail, Inditex and H&M. The difficulty is figuring out when will they turn into another BHS, C&A or Debenhams."

Indeed. If you do figure it out, please do let me know

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abtan 13th Jan 12 of 14

In reply to post #435628

Thanks for sharing your thoughts James, much appreciated

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herbie47 13th Jan 13 of 14

Yes I'm still wearing some that are over 20 years old, problem is they start to wear out after that. So I have bought some new clothes recently, different brands. Problem is they take up quite a bit of space and I hate throwing anything out. Old clothes can be used for decorating and gardening. Modern clothes don't seem to last so long and some fancy brands are rubbish. Not many shops in my area so a bit restricted on what I can buy now. Brands I have bought recently are M&S, Asda, Karrimor, Slazenger, Mountain Warehouse, NB and Pierre Cardin, most will probably outlast me.

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abtan 13th Jan 14 of 14

In reply to post #435633

Thanks for the musings Peter and yes, I agree, perhaps Stockopedia is not the best place to ask this question!

I can see the appeal of Next (LON:NXT) over a lifetime as it gives off the impression of serving the masses, as opposed to one specific demographic.

Their international expansion has only served to give off the impression that even if loyalty is weak and people do move on, they have a huge network yet to tap - if you get a chance and are interested take a look at how many specific international websites they have and how many languages they serve vs Boohoo (LON:BOO) et al. A quick look just now found a Russian site (in Russian and English) and a Slovenian site (in Slovenian and English).

If Boohoo (LON:BOO) and Sosandar (LON:SOS) follow similar international expansion plans, then perhaps domestic brand loyalty is something that shareholders don't really need to worry about?

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