In this chapter we trace recent changes in the structure of the distribution and retailing of clothing in Europe, relying on both quantitative and qualitative data collected in our studies as well as in previous ones. We analyze their causes and we envision potential future trends. While our preliminary analysis of the macro-economic context encompassed all EU-25 countries, eventually our study focused on nine of them: Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and United Kingdom. Italy, Spain, France, Germany and United Kingdom were selected because they are the five largest markets, together accounting for 72.8% of the market. Among new member States, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary are the largest producers of clothing, together reaching more than 70% of both value added and employment. Among the three, Poland is by far the biggest producer; the size of its clothing industry is comparable to those in Spain and Portugal, if weighted by the relative purchasing power. Poland is also the largest clothing employer among the new member state; it ranks second only to Italy and comes ahead of the others clothing heavyweights such as France, Germany and UK.

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