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Women's wear remains key driver of fashion industry

Sep '09
As the Fashion Weeks in New York and London come to a close, Mintel's Global Market Navigator (GMN) shows how resilient the fashion industry has been to the global economic downturn.

In the US, the clothing markets has continued growing despite economic troubles, up 3% in 2007 and nearly 14% in 2008. Mintel GMN predicts steady increases next year and beyond. The UK, France and Italy have also experienced very stable markets and that is predicted to continue.

Mintel GMN reports that stereotypes of style-hungry Italians, high-spending French and fashion-absorbed Americans are not substantiated by actual numbers: it's trendy Brits that shop the most! Even in the depths of recession, UK clothing spend per head was the equivalent of $1,071 (for 2008). In France and Italy, people spent a more reasonable $522 and $679, respectively, while American clothing spend per head was $732.

Steve Charlton, managing director of Mintel GMN, notes that “the United Kingdom clothing market is larger than both the French and Italian markets. Indeed, the UK market is one-third the size of the US's, but the population of Great Britain is just one-fifth of America's.”

Across countries, women's wear remains a key driver of the fashion industry. In the US, UK and Italy, women's clothing constitutes nearly 60% of annual sales, while in France women's wear represents 24.7% of the market.

Mintel International

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