Apparel and Footwear in 2015: Trends, Developments and Prospects

May 2015

The global apparel and footwear market delivers steady performance despite softer growth in China and much weaker outlook in Russia and Brazil. Meanwhile, a sustained recovery in Western Europe remains elusive and improving economies are yet to provide a significant growth boost to apparel and footwear sales. This report explores most prominent trends from a geographic point of view as well as key drivers within apparel category dynamics in the current global market.

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Resilient global apparel and footwear market growth despite economic headwinds

The delivers another year of solid growth in 2014 despite weakness in key markets including China, Russia and Brazil and ongoing difficulties in Western Europe.

Asia Pacific growth is slowing but region still remains the number one opportunity

Despite a slowdown in the Chinese economy, Asia Pacific remains the largest regional apparel and footwear market. International brands will continue to penetrate the region’s lower-tier cities especially in China where rising incomes will see market growth become more widespread.

US continues solid recovery

The US has shown solid post-recession recovery and the future looks promising. Although in 2015 China will take its leading position as the world’s largest market, performance and the expansion in the US will remain key for all fashion brands looking for global dominance.

Outlook for Western Europe is showing tentative signs of improvement

Although 2014 brought virtually no growth to the Western European apparel and footwear market, there are signs of a pick-up and positive momentum across some of the markets including Greece, Spain and Portugal, and 2015 is expected to be a year of fragile recovery following seven years of weak performance.

Menswear: the new growth area for the fashion industry

In 2014, the menswear category increased by 4.5% compared to 3.7% for womenswear and by 2019 will contribute and additional US$40 billion in sales to the global apparel and footwear market, leaving considerable capacity for category development. Men’s shirts, jeans, and jackets and coats are forecast to be the star performers.

Sportswear and comfort dressing to inspire innovation across all categories

The dynamic growth of performance and sports-inspired apparel and footwear has initiated a slow-burning but inexorable shift to comfort dressing as part of daily lifestyles. The shift is already visible across most categories, including denim, where brands are using innovation to drive growth and meet consumer needs.


Key findings

Global Market Spotlight

Resilient performance despite economic headwinds across BRICs
Western Europe continues to hold back global growth
China to secure top spot in the global ranking in 2015
Sharper decline in global volume growth

R egional and Country Mix

Stuttering growth in emerging markets

Regional and Country Mix

Beyond China’s shadow, India leads double-digit growth
China’s slowdown deepens but growth is still substantial
Hong Kong issues pose threat to sustained future growth
India shows huge potential but is still underdeveloped
The explosion of mobile phone use and the m-commerce revolution
Japan’s modest improvement under threat
Eastern Europe growth threatened by Russia and Ukraine tensions
Russia expected to post decline in 2015
Ukraine will be slow to recover
Western Europe shows only little change in direction for now
A cautionary tale as bargain-hunting US consumers drive market
US growth spurs expansion of overseas players
Inflation and economic woes distort Latin American growth success
Import barriers make Latin America tough but possible to crack
Hosting the 2014 World Cup lifts sportswear sales
Middle East and Africa: Modern shopping centres boost growth
South Africa: Sub-Saharan Africa’s main shopping destination
Australia: Western brands lead to a climate of lower spending

Category Highlights

Fashion-conscious males present huge opportunity for menswear
Higher unit prices translate into great potential in luxury menswear
Sportswear continues on path of dynamic growth
Athleisure trend inspires innovation in denim
Childrenswear : Building apparel’s future growth

Future Outlook

Led by China, Asia Pacific will extend its lead
Middle East and Africa to provide fashion’s long-term growth
Twilight of the BRICs and the next fashion hotspots
Sportswear and comfort dressing to lead category growth

D efinitions



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