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Womenswear – Industry Analysis


Clothing is an essential item, with consumer choice being influenced by factors such as fashion and a desire to signal social status. Demand patterns are susceptible to branding and advertising, which, despite the lack of significant switching costs, tends to weaken buyer power.

Industry figures

The global womenswear market had total revenues of $638.1bn in 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.2% between 2009 and 2013.

The Asia-Pacific and Middle East and African markets showed particularly strong growth, in comparison to Europe over this period, with CAGRs of 4.8% and 6.6%, respectively.

Europe fared less well, with the market fluctuating between growth and recession in the same period. In 2013 the European womenswear market was worth $219.8bn. The market growth over this period varied greatly from country to country. For example, while the Italian and Spanish markets declined sharply between 2009 and 2013 and the UK market grew by 2.2%.

Industry trends

The Asia-Pacific region is likely to be the main driver of growth going forward, particularly given the strong industry growth seen in recent years in China and India.

Furthermore, with the liberalization of international trade, India has become an important supplier in the global market. Rising costs and workers’ wages in China have led to a boom in Indian production and exports of apparel. According to the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), India’s garment export to the EU increased year on year by 5.9% in January-May 2013, while export from China and Bangladesh declined year on year by 9.7% and 1.8% respectively.

For more information on Womenswear, please check out our Womenswear Industry Profiles.

Or check out our Apparel Retail Case Studies.

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