The most dynamic category in apparel accessories in 2018 was hats/caps, with sales benefiting from the streetwear and athleisure trends. In the summer sales benefit from sales of wide-brimmed hats and caps for shielding consumers from the sun, while beanie hats are commonly worn in the colder winter months.
Gloves continued to struggle in 2018 with it seeing a further decline in current value terms. One reason for this is that consumers in Thailand are increasingly moving away from formalwear which has hurt sales of some types of gloves.
To cope with the falling demand for formalwear, the design of ties and belts in Taiwan has become less formal. Men and women have begun matching skinny ties and canvas belts, and other styles, with contrasting streetwear looks to create a more casual image both at work and when socialising.
Uniqlo extended its lead in apparel accessories in 2018 with consumers attracted to its affordable and fashionable range of products. With Taiwan still recovering from the economic crisis seen earlier in the review period many consumers remain price conscious when shopping for non-essentials such as apparel accessories and so have become increasingly drawn to fast-fashion retailers, and especially to Japanese retailer Uniqlo.
While Uniqlo goes from strength to strength, Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M saw a dramatic dip in 2018 with it losing share in apparel accessories. The company has suffered globally from its rapid expansion with a large backlog of stock forcing it to employ drastic discounting.
Aside from fast fashion brands, some of the best performers in 2018 were those that meet with the athleisure trend, with Nike, adidas, Columbia and The North Face being prominent in this regard. The pages of fashion magazines in Taiwan are filled with tips on how to blend more formal items with sporty apparel accessories and this has provided a boost to brands such as these, which can now be seen in the office as well as on the street.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Apparel and Footwear market research database