Apparel and Footwear: Quarterly Statement Q1 2021

March 2021

The apparel and footwear industry has been hit particularly hard by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This briefing provides Euromonitor International’s Apparel and Footwear Q1 2021 quarterly research results and market updates on 2020-2025 forecasts.

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Key findings

Slight downgrade to global forecasts

Euromonitor International’s Apparel and Footwear March (Q1) 2021 update sees a marginal downgrade against expectations at the time of publication of the December 2020 baseline. The latest research estimates that global apparel and footwear sales are likely to see a return to growth in 2021, of 10.5%, a 0.6-percentage-point downgrade versus the researched baseline in December 2020.

Downside risk remains for global retail demand

The recent apparel and footwear forecast update reflects a high degree of uncertainty, given unclear and changing epidemiological trends across markets. While COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out in some markets, the demand for new clothing and footwear will remain low until social life and businesses start to normalise.

Forecasts in top 10 markets are slightly downgraded

Growth forecasts in 2020-2025 across all top 10 apparel and footwear markets have been slightly downgraded from the December 2020 baseline. The easing pandemic restrictions, progress in vaccinations and fiscal stimulus could push economic activity in the forecast period.

China is on track towards recovery

China is already seeing a steady recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a strong comeback in consumer spending. The country will be a key driver of global apparel and footwear sales growth.

Footwear is among the largest downward revision in the Q1 2021 update

During the March (Q1) 2021 update, footwear saw the largest downward revision in forecast growth from the December 2020 baseline. The extended period of social distancing measures and travel restrictions, along with hybrid or remote work and learning and cancellations of special events, is delaying the expected recovery in demand for business, formal and occasion footwear.

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

Q1 Apparel and Footwear Update

Q1 2021 quarterly update forecast and alternative scenarios
Forecast growth: December 2020 baseline vs March (Q1) 2021 update
Forecasts in top 10 markets are slightly downgraded during latest update
China is on track towards recovery as consumer spending picks up steadily
Nike’s quarterly results prove the importance of the Chinese market
Footwear among the largest downward revision in Q1 2021 update
The demand for apparel and footwear is elastic
Takeaways from this quarter

Q1 Macroeconomic Update

Global baseline outlook: Downside risks to the recovery have declined
Uncertainty remains high, but with a more optimistic tilt
Real GDP annual growth forecasts and revisions from last quarter, AE (%, percentage points)
Real GDP annual growth forecasts and revisions from last quarter, EMDE (%, percentage points)
COVID-19 scenarios summary

About our Industry Forecast Model

About apparel and footwear quarterly forecast updates
Data and reporting timeline
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