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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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