Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Clothing & Footwear Industry Market Review 2010" report to their offering.

“Clothing & Footwear Industry Market Review 2010”

The UK clothing and footwear (or apparel) market was worth an estimated 46.05bn in 2009, accounting for 5.3% of total consumer spending. In 1960, these products, although among the essentials of human living, accounted for 10% of the household budget, so they have lost relative importance in the consumer economy.

Although other household priorities, such as foreign holidays, mortgages and cars, have developed since 1960, the main reason for the apparel market's failure to grow rapidly is price deflation. Between 2005 and 2009, the market grew by 6% at current prices but much higher volumes of apparel were bought at lower prices. The women's outerwear segment actually declined slightly in value, because average prices were 22% lower in 2009 than they were in 2005. This occurred despite the dynamism of `fast fashion', in which more and more garments are bought but worn only a few times before they go out of fashion and are disposed of.

Prices for some clothing items have, in fact, declined for a much longer period even relative to late 1980s prices. This is attributable to two long-term factors: cheaper imports and retail competition. A first wave of imports from European countries and the Indian sub-continent was followed in the early 2000s by the arrival of the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the major source of both clothing and footwear. Other Far Eastern bases for low-cost production include Vietnam and Indonesia.

Retail competition, the other factor in restraining prices, has featured the broadening out of retail sources for apparel, to take in new waves of competitors such as sports shops and deep discounters in the 1990s and the Internet and grocery superstores in the 2000s. Key Note's consumer research for this report found that people spread their shopping for apparel across a wide variety of generalist outlets chain stores (e.g. Primark), grocery superstores (e.g. ASDA), sports shops (e.g. Sports World) and department stores (e.g. Debenhams) in addition to fashion chains, shoe shops and mail-order catalogues, the traditional outlets.

The decline of domestic production and the ultra-competitive retail environment means that retailers now dominate the apparel market. Key Note's consumer and corporate research identifies the leaders as Marks & Spencer, Arcadia Group, Next, Primark, New Look, ASDA, Tesco and Debenhams, each with its own strategic approach to the market (fast fashion, discounting, family, designer brands, etc.). However, to view these companies solely as retailers would be inaccurate, because they are `vertically integrated' businesses, handling their own design, commissioning of production, importing and marketing, as well as interfacing directly with the shopper, both in-store and online. A classic example of this vertical integration is C&J Clark (`Clarks'), the UK's largest footwear company: its manufacturing is now undertaken entirely abroad and it retails through its own multiple shoe-shop chain as well as selling its brand through concessions in other outlets.

For the future, one interesting aspect of the apparel market is the recent strong growth in sales of accessories such as handbags and scarves. These accompany the more formal style that is increasingly acceptable particularly in men's fashion, a partial turning back of the fashion clock but accessories are also used by women to create a unique `look' by combining (or mixing and matching) various garments, footwear, accessories, hairstyle and make-up. This individual approach to dress, encouraged by `makeover' television programmes, is a follow-on from the earlier trend towards `anything goes', which did away with formal dress codes.

As the UK emerges from recession, the authors expect growth to return, but only modestly, the crucial factor being the future trend in high-street prices. The average prices paid for apparel could well start to increase, for three reasons: a move towards higher quality, comfort and design; demand for more expensive but sustainable products (e.g. use of recycled materials or Fairtrade fabrics); and, most crucially, firming global prices for manufacturing as standards of living rise in the producer countries.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Executive Summary
  • 1. Industry Overview
  • 2. Pest Analysis
  • 3. Key Note Primary Research
  • 4. Competitive Structure
  • 5. Womenswear
  • 6. Menswear
  • 7. Childrenswear And Babywear
  • 8. Footwear
  • 9. Sportswear
  • 10. Accessories And Other Clothing Costs
  • 11. A Global Perspective
  • 12. The Future
  • 13. Further Sources
  • Associations
  • General Sources
  • Government Sources
  • Companies Mentioned

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