World Market for Apparel and Footwear

May 2022

Apparel and footwear was among the industries worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine further disrupts the world’s economy, fashion players are now in a race to adapt to an increasingly uncertain environment. Those investing in their digital transformation to offer new products, experiences and to rethink their supply chains will be best positioned to win, while upping one’s game on diversity and sustainability is also becoming imperative.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key findings

A shadow lies over recovery

Apparel and footwear was among the industries worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and while recovery has gathered steam, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has further disrupted the world’s economy, forcing market players to reassess their priorities and operating procedures.

Home-centric lifestyles benefit sportswear

With new working arrangements here to stay, allowing consumers more flexible lifestyles, dress codes have become more casual, while interest in health and wellness remains high. These trends benefit sportswear players and performance and sports-inspired products across global markets.

Experiential at the core of retail strategies

The pandemic has reinforced the move by brands to focus more on the direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel via their own online and physical stores, while retailers innovate and strive to enhance the customer shopping experience by increasingly blending online and offline realities.

Enhancing logistics and supply chains

Already heavily disrupted by the global pandemic, supply chains are being further challenged by high inflation rates and political instability in Europe. This will reshape the industry’s production landscape, and increase investment in automation and logistics systems.

The new sustainability imperative

Following the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests, social justice and climate change have come to the fore for a growing number of consumers. In this context, fashion players will need to reprioritise environmental, social and governance (ESG), and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) as part of their core values and offering.


Global sales of apparel and footwear via e-commerce and s-commerce are set to increase further, as companies invest in their digital transformation to achieve greater efficiency, improve the customer experience and develop product innovations, eg Nike’s RTFKT training shoes.

Executive summary
The fashion industry shows signs of a faster than expected rebound…
… but the ongoing uncertainty in Europe is further disrupting the world’s economy
The UAE continues to have by far the highest per capita spend
An uneven recovery in terms of geographies, categories and value segments
No signs of slowdown in sportswear demand
US and China combined to drive global value growth through to 2026
E-commerce and digital transformation continue to accelerate after the pandemic
COVID-19: A catalyst for a stronger move towards sustainable fashion?
Despite strong M&A activity since the COVID-19 outbreak, the industry remains fragmented
Top players have shifted their focus to their DTC operations since the COVID-19 outbreak
Chinese players dominate the ranking of the fastest growing fashion companies
Anta has built up a brand portfolio that spans a wide range of prices and functions
The Chinese sportswear giant keeps gaining share at home while eyeing global expansion
Taking the fashion industry by storm, Shein has become a Gen Z favourite in Europe and US
Shein connects over 6,000 Chinese garment factories through a proprietary software
Examining five trends shaping apparel and footwear
Home-centric lifestyles are fuelling a higher acceptation of casual clothes at work
Consumers’ growing desire to escape in nature drives demand for outdoor and functionality
Inditex launches the Oysho smart jacket to appeal to the hybrid working consumer
Lululemon expands into footwear and launches the “sneakers for feel”
New consumer behaviour shapes future retail strategies
Nike focuses on DTC and experiential shopping to boost brand desirability
Westside has launched an option for video chats with local stores in tier-1 cities in India
The adidas DXB store mixes tech and non-tech features to offer a unique retail experience
Digitalisation is changing the industry
Fashion players are getting ready for the Metaverse and the D2A commerce revolution
Levi’s uses AI across its business, from pricing and shipping decisions to AI-powered designs
Electric/City: Selfridges captures Pokémon fans through a unique 3D shopping experience
Decentraland hosts the first Metaverse Fashion Week #MVFW
The pandemic has exposed the limits of the fashion industry’s globalised supply chains
Diversification and proximity manufacturing to control production and transport costs
Micro-fulfilment centres and on-demand production for greater agility and personalisation
Alibaba Xunxi Digital Factory brings data-driven on-demand production to apparel SMEs
“Textile Valley” aims to make Hauts-de-France an attractive textile production hub in Europe
Sustainability and purpose: Growing pressure from consumers and regulators
Diversity, equity and inclusion: The industry is fully aware of the need to change…
Many brands still fail in their diversity efforts
All top five industry players are upping their green commitments
Green initiatives drive recycled and plant-based material innovations
Japanese start-up Spiber Inc produces vegan “silk” and “wool” out of “brewed protein”
The Jeans Redesign project: A cross-industry initiative to kickstart fashion’s circular journey
Seeking growth opportunities beyond China
US cities outside NYC and LA: Prime targets for retail expansion
Fashion beyond ownership likely to boom in the hard times ahead
Cocoon’s luxury handbags rental service is emblematic of changing consumer demands
M&A activity will continue to reshape the corporate landscape
Global snapshot of womenswear
Global snapshot of menswear
Global snapshot of childrenswear
Global snapshot of sportswear
Global snapshot of footwear
Global snapshot of hosiery
Global snapshot of apparel accessories
Global snapshot of Asia Pacific
Regional snapshot: North America
Regional snapshot: Eastern Europe
Regional snapshot: Western Europe
Regional snapshot: Middle East and Africa
Regional snapshot: Latin America
Regional snapshot: Australasia

Apparel and Footwear

Apparel is the aggregation of clothing and footwear. This dataset covers retail sales of apparel through both store-based retailers and non-store retailers. Excludes black market sales (i.e. untaxed, generated within informal retailing)and duty free sales (travel retail). Items must be new when sold to the consumer; second-hand/used items are excluded. Antique and/or vintage clothing and footwear is also excluded.

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