2020 saw apparel accessories emerge as the only category of apparel footwear in Colombia to register positive growth as sales of apparel accessories benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic. This unique situation emerged due to the dramatic increase seen in the use of hygienic face masks among the population.
With demand for apparel accessories dropping quickly as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Colombia during the second quarter of year, many of the more innovative and agile local manufacturers of apparel spotted opportunities to avoid having to lay off workforces and multiple manufacturing equipment by shifting their production to items of protective clothing that were likely to experience rising demand as the pandemic situation unfolded. Local brand Totto for instance quickly adapted to the emerging trading conditions as it began to produce protective clothing, including reusable face masks.
Hats/caps was one of only two categories of apparel and footwear to register positive sales growth over the course of 2020, along with other apparel accessories, as many people look to these items as protective shields in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 situation. Key names in the category including Gef and Arturo Calle quickly developed hats with special features that make them ideal as protective items against the COVID-19 virus.
While the use of face masks is likely to remain fairly common in Colombia during 2021, at least until the efforts of the Colombian government to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus yields tangible results, the widespread use of face masks is likely to have peaked already. There is little to no cultural precedent for wearing face masks in public among the Colombian population and it is expected that demand for face masks will plummet as soon as it is no longer mandatory to wear these items in public.
While the forecast period is expected to see overall sales of apparel accessories decline from the strong peak seen in sales of other apparel accessories during 2020, most categories of apparel accessories are in fact expected to register positive sales growth after registering declining sales during 2020. Demand for belts, scarves, and hats/caps can be expected to increase in line with the recovery of the Colombian economy and rising levels of consumer confidence.
Ties has been a category of apparel accessories in decline for more than ten years and the main reason for this negative performance is the decreasing importance of formalwear in Colombian society. In particular, dress codes in professional workplaces are increasingly flexible, with neckties usually required only when meeting clients, attending conferences or for particularly important occasions.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Apparel Accessories industry in Colombia with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Apparel Accessories research and analysis database.
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