Latin America saw the strongest regional decline globally in womenswear value over the review period. Sales were hampered by difficult economic conditions, including local currency devaluations, which negatively impacted consumption. The region’s largest categories, such as jeans and underwear, were the main sources of decline. Competition between local and international players is expected to intensify over the coming years.
Sales of womenswear in Latin American suffered the strongest decline over the period 2014-2019, as a consequence of difficult macroeconomic conditions in Brazil and Argentina, which were not compensated for by positive results in Mexico, Colombia and Chile. Women are responsible for the bulk of household purchases, tending to postpone their personal acquisitions to provide the basic supplies for their families during the challenging periods of economic crisis.
Leading local players develop successful strategies to strengthen their activities with more sophisticated offers based on dynamic fashion appeal and lifestyle concepts that no longer focus on discounts, favouring more diversified product mixes. International players strongly grow operating in more countries, thus competition is gradually becoming fiercer among the leading players.
Diversity in weather conditions, cultural environments and textile production results in different shares among womenswear categories across countries. Brazil sees high shares for jeans and underwear, Argentina and Colombia see strong sales of shirts and blouses, while in Chile, jackets and coats have a particularly high share.
The major apparel companies only started exploring e-commerce in Latin America in 2014. Consumers still need to be educated about the advantages of buying online for this channel to have a significant impact on apparel retailing.
Recovery, but sales in 2024 still below those in 2014
Womenswear is a mature category that tends to grow in line with countries’ GDPs. With Latin America’s overall positive macroeconomic prospects, sales of womenswear are expected to grow gradually over the forecast period.
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