World Market for Apparel and Footwear

April 2024

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

Economic headwinds persist, with uneven growth trajectories

The ongoing economic and political instability have further disrupted the world’s economy since 2022, and the industry is poised for only slow global growth, as inflationary pressures persist. There are, however, pockets of growth, with India set to be a key growth engine for the industry in the next five years.

Value Hackers, or how consumers seek to get the very the best value they can

With the continuing cost-of-living crisis, consumers are adjusting their financial mindsets and employing clever strategies to get the very best value they can, driving demand for dupes and fast fashion from Temu, Shein and PEPCO, for example. However, as regulators increasingly look at limiting volume-driven business models, adding value through services like repairs, rental and resales might be worth considering for longer term growth strategies.

Greenwashed out or how companies and brands are challenged on transparency

Sustainable regulation is becoming tougher in various parts of the world, and with the textile and fashion industry facing escalating accusations of “greenwashing”, companies and brands are challenged to be transparent, and need to demonstrate the results of their sustainability efforts, driving the adoption of blockchain, AI and SAAS technology.

Ask AI, or the redefinition of the shopping experience and hyper-personalisation

AI-driven solutions will become increasingly integrated not only into supply chains but also into consumers’ daily lives, and have the potential to reshape the fashion industry, from design to production and selling. In the short term, AI is increasingly redefining the shopping experience towards hyper-personalisation.

Wellness pragmatists or the amplification of the women’s empowerment and self-care narrative

Consumers turn to brands that reinforce their self-image in a positive manner. The emotional wellness, women’s empowerment and self-care narrative is being further amplified in the lead-up to the Paris 2024 Olympics, creating opportunities for brands that can leverage the right emotive marketing messages.

The industry is poised for slow global growth as consumers inflationary pressures persist
Supply-side price pressures to persist in 2024
M arket conditions have been particularly tough on mid-priced brands in the US and Europe
P olitical instability is expected to cause further long-term supply chain shifts
Market conditions are toughening but there are still pockets of growth
India, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East set to boost global growth
Sportswear and childrenswear to outperform the wider industry
Consumers continue to demand the best of online and offline shopping
M&A activity has slowed down since 2021 but is still shaping the competitive landscape
Diversification, supply chain efficiencies and risk management drive M&A activity
Even if M&A activity picks up in 2024, the industry will remain highly fragmented
After years of unchallenged global dominance, Nike and adidas face some headaches
Uniqlo (Fast Retailing) and Zara (Inditex) fare better than H&M
Chinese fast fashion and sportswear players among the fastest growing fashion companies
To differentiate from Temu, Shein has changed its strategy from sourcing to distribution
After rapid growth for its performance shoes, On Running expands in children’s footwear
The global consumer trends that are shaping the fashion industry
Value hackers: Consumers want their money go further
The success of CRZ Yoga shows how “dupe culture” is gaining ground in Asia Pacific
In the US, Temu explodes onto the scene with its value-focused third party marketplace
Discounter PEPCO has opened 100+ stores across Italy since 2020
High-volume, low-price business models increasingly face scrutiny by regulators
In the face of threatened volumes, brands can add value via durability and repairability
Amer Sports’ outdoor brand Arc’teryx increases its focus on design durability and circularity
DSW partners with Cobblers Direct in the US, while Veja opens a shoe repair centre in Paris
Urban Outfitters Inc’s clothing rental company Nuuly reported its first profit in late 2023
Greenwashed out: The climate conundrum
Increasing transparency and traceability becomes a top priority for fashion players
Second-hand fashion pioneer Vestiaire Collective bans fast fashion brands from its platform
Chloé and Pangaia adopt E.On digital product passports (DPPs) to enable instant resale
FibreTrace offers AI-driven blockchain technology for transparency in fashion supply chains
All Asket garments come with a detailed “impact receipt”
Gen AI to enable hyper-personalisation and innovations throughout the supply chain
Fashion players need to understand and integrate generative AI solutions
H&M Creator Studio launches True Blanks custom AI-generated clothing
In China, Alibaba uses generative AI to optimise the Tmall shopping experience
Zalora and Myntra: Fashion e-commerce? platforms in Southeast Asia embrace AI
Zalando adds AI fashion assistant to enable consumers to shop by occasions
US-based Sneaker Impact uses AI to drive circular economy in footwear
Wellness fashion: S elf-care and inclusion are at the forefront of consumers’ lifestyles
To achieve their wellbeing goals, consumers seek products that simplify their lives
Wellness and women empowerment have become a key driver in Sportswear sales
Puma accelerates its commitment to women’s football with an ACL research study
Peloton becomes the exclusive digital fitness content provider for Lululemon
Wellness-oriented fashion increasingly targets middle-aged women
Budget fashion retailer Primark now offers a menopause range in the UK
US-based tech start up Bloomer Tech’s bra saves lives through tracking cardiovascular disease
Fashion industry players are under intense pressure to adapt and find pockets of growth
Key takeaways
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
Regional snapshot: 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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