As with the other luxury goods categories in Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic affected designer apparel and footwear significantly due to lifestyle changes as a result of lockdowns, working from home, and social distancing measures resulting in many consumers avoiding shopping in stores and shifting to e-commerce. Although all categories within designer apparel and footwear were impacted similarly current retail value sales of designer clothing accessories and hosiery was the least affected, with children's designer footwear being the most impacted.
As many consumers contended with the uncertainty wrought by the pandemic and lifestyle changes at the start of lockdown in mid-March 2020, shopping for non-essential luxury items at brick-and-mortar retail stores was put on the backburner. Subsequently, designer apparel and footwear brands had to adjust their business model or fail.
Luxury brands have also responded by adding new items to designer apparel such as luxury face masks. Burberry, for example, introduced face masks, in two colours, to their range in August 2020, retailing for approximately AUD120.
Designer apparel and footwear (ready-to-wear) is set to recover across the forecast period and constant retail value sales is set to see healthy growth from 2021; however, retail value at 2020 prices is forecast to only reach pre-COVID-19 levels again at the end of the forecast period. This will be heavily linked with the roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine in the country and as consumers feel more confident to socialise once more, they will return to events and occasions, and therefore, they will purchase new designer apparel and footwear (ready-to-wear).
Sustainability issues will remain top of mind for consumers over the forecast period. Allbirds, for example, added its first-ever clothing collection as well as eco-friendly underwear to its line-up in 2020.
With luxury brands’ shift towards digitalisation, social media is becoming more important and is expected to be increasingly incorporated into brands’ marketing strategies over the forecast period. For example, Dior uses fashion influencers to promote its products and new collections on social media platforms.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Designer Apparel and Footwear (Ready-to-Wear) industry in Australia 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 Designer Apparel and Footwear (Ready-to-Wear) research and analysis database.
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