Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Conference proceedings at the British Academy of Management, BAM2018 Conference, "Driving Productivity in Uncertain and Challenging Times". 3rd - 6th September, at the Bristol Business School, University of West England.


This developmental paper reviews the literature on market segmentation in the context of the fashion retail sector with specific regard to the mature female consumer of fashion. The paper identifies two gaps between the academic theory and marketing practice: The first gap relates to the prevalence of developing complex, statistical models of segmentation in the literature, while there is a paucity of guidelines for practitioners to implement segmentation projects in practice.

The second gap exists in relation to the segmentation and targeting practices of fashion retailers who are still practising an “only youth = fashion” approach (Jackson and Shaw, 2009). The literature here documents the lucrative potential of mature consumers and advocates for greater understanding of the complex and dynamic nature of the mature female fashion consumer. Theory, in this instance appears to be in tune with market and demographic developments, while retail practitioners lag behind. The paper concludes with a review of the research questions and proposed methodology for the research underpinning the paper.