One of the leading local menswear companies, Arturo Calle adapted rapidly to changes in the market due to COVID-19 pandemic during 2020. With all apparel and footwear specialist retailers forced to remain closed for an extended period from March 2020 onwards in sales of menswear far lower than normal, the company faced the difficult decision to terminate 6,000 of its employees.
While all categories of menswear experienced declining sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020, the categories hardest hit were those in which sales are dominated by formalwear. The strict adherence to the principles of social distancing and home seclusion that was seen among the population of Colombia during 2020 resulted in many people choosing not to socialise outside of the home and the cancellation of very many formal social events such as weddings, milestone birthday parties, wedding anniversaries and such.
Two categories of menswear that fared relatively well during 2020 were men’s nightwear and men’s underwear, with relatively modest sales declines seen in each category over the course of the year. The obvious reason for the relatively favourable performances registered in each of these categories is that underwear and nightwear were unaffected by social distancing and home seclusion as underwear is seen as non-optional among the vast majority of people, including whilst spending time at home, while nightwear is only ever worn at home and thus may even have benefited from the strict approach taken to social distancing and home seclusion among the Colombian population during the year.
While sales of menswear are expected to begin increasing again as early as 2021 as the direct negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on demand diminishes in line with the waning influence of the pandemic situation, it is expected that it will take until at least 2023 for category sales to return to pre-COVID-19 levels. The main factor that is expected to suppress demand for menswear during the forecast period is the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Colombia’s economy and, specifically, the low consumer confidence that has flowed from the high rate of unemployment that is the most obvious negative impact of the adverse economic situation.
Men’s suits was one of the categories of menswear to experience the worst sales declines due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020. Specifically, the shift towards working from home that was seen among the country’s white-collar professionals, service industry personnel and office workers over the course of the dramatically diminished the importance of wearing a suit to work on a daily basis, with many men thus choosing not to replace their current work suits until such time as they absolutely need to.
Recent years have seen Colombia’s leading domestic apparel and footwear companies make huge inroads into sustainable fashion and this is expected to remain a major theme across industry during the forecast period. In menswear, Arturo Calle recently launched its ECO product line, which features a range of garments that combine various different sustainable materials under various different names.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Menswear industry in Colombia 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 Menswear research and analysis database.
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