Our September sale is now live until 30th September 2021! Apply a 15% discount to your cart in Store using promotional code: EQLYSEP21

Womenswear in Western Europe

July 2019

Womenswear in Western Europe is still dominated by fast fashion, which continues to create intense price competition for retailers. This competition for lower prices and on-trend collections is further intensified by the growth of internet retailing and the growing presence of pure online players in an already very saturated market. Brands will need to differentiate themselves both in terms of their values and products, and build strong and seamless digital touch-points to attract consumers.

USD 1,325
Request More Information

Key Findings

Fast fashion’s dominance threatened

Fast fashion continued to drive womenswear in Western Europe in 2018, as Zara and H&M maintained their undisputed leading positions and as Primark secured its position as the third largest womenswear brand in the region. Despite signs that consumers are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of fast fashion, and regardless of their claims to be willing to pay more for sustainable fashion, most consumers still shop around for on-trend, lower priced clothing.

Climate change and travel patterns impact sales

Sales of outerwear were negatively impacted by the prolonged period of higher than normal temperatures across Western Europe in the summer of 2018. For this reason, sales of outerwear have slowed over the past two years, but swimwear continues to see positive value growth, all the more since the number of individuals who travel internationally between one and three times a year increased by 10% in 2018, according to the Euromonitor International Lifestyles Survey 2019. As weather and travel patterns change, retailers will need to be more nimble and adaptable.

Sportswear demand still high as category evolves

Sales of women’s sportswear grew by 4% in 2018, and continued to grow faster than the wider womenswear category, which saw a decline of 1% over the year. Sales of leggings across the region were particularly high in 2018. This is because of the growing interest in health and wellness, and the movement of the everyday wardrobe towards comfort and adaptability, facilitating active and fast-paced lifestyles suited to a variety of work and leisure-focused environments.

Digital presence and omnichannel operation is key to success

Internet retailing continues to grow at a faster rate than other channels in the region, and accounted for 17% of womenswear sales in 2018, up by three percentage points from 2017. In particular, the use of mobile devices is expected to drive online purchases in the coming years, as consumers seek speed and convenience.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Womenswear in a global context
Competition and changing preferences slow growth
Germany and the UK lead womenswear sales
Italian womenswear market still struggling
Performance varies significantly by category
Climate change and casualisation affect consumer preferences
Internet retailing is still the fastest growing channel
Online shopping sees a shift towards m-commerce

Leading Companies and Brands

An increasingly competitive and varied market
Fast fashion competition accelerates as private label slows
Leading players retain their positions for now
Fast fashion competition still high among key players

Forecast Projections

Growth continues in most countries in the region
Adaptability and versatility are key for consumers today
Fashion brands will need to address to ethical and experiential demands

Country Snapshots

UK: market context
UK: competitive and retail landscape
Germany: market context
Germany: competitive and retail landscape
Spain: market context
Spain: competitive and retail landscape
France: market context
France: competitive and retail landscape
Italy: market context
Italy: competitive and retail landscape
Netherlands: market context
Netherlands: competitive and retail landscape
Portugal: market context
Portugal: competitive and retail landscape
Austria: market context
Austria: competitive and retail landscape
Greece: market context
Greece: competitive and retail landscape
Sweden: market context
Sweden: competitive and retail landscape
Turkey: market context
Turkey: competitive and retail landscape
Denmark: market context
Denmark: competitive and retail landscape
Norway: market context
Norway: competitive and retail landscape


If you purchase a report that is updated in the next 60 days, we will send you the new edition and data extract FREE! Home Page