The top 5 most demanding apparels are knitwear, pants, trousers and shorts, bodywear, fashion sportswear and T-shirts. The average growth rate is 5% per year but active sportswear, Dresses and swimwear are getting the highest growth recently. The below graph illustrates all the important data related to the trend in the demand for different apparels.
The size of the expenditure on clothing and footwear by different countries in the EU can give a detailed idea about the opportunities that are waiting to be taken. The below graph shows the data of expenditure on clothing and footwear items, ranked by the amount spent in million GBP by the top 10 countries in the EU. UK and Germany comprise the biggest market for clothing and footwear.
Europe has a very demanding and high growth apparel market. In 2019 EU countries combinedly imported around €177.3 billion worth of apparel and this import amount has been growing at a rate of 5% per year. EU mainly imports from the developing nations and UK, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands and Spain represent 72% of the imported value in 2019.
The above graph shows the annual turnover of the clothing and footwear wholesalers in the UK from period 2008 to 2018. All the amounts are in million GBP. The graph shows that the annual turnover in all of the years is above 10,000 million GBP and the graph is trending upward slowly. In the post COVID world there will be huge demand for apparels as the apparels market did not perform well during this period. So, there is a huge opportunity of wholesale clothing and footwear business because of the enormity of the market size and the annual growth rate related to it.
There are a lot of companies competing in the UK apparel market. The above graph shows the number of companies according to their turnover size acting in the wholesale clothing and footwear industry in the UK. According to the data most of the companies have annual turnover ranging from £0 to £249,999.
The above data shows that the UK import value increased at a rate of 2.6% annually from 2014 to 2019 but the import volume fell by 3.4% in the same period of time. That means that the price must have increased and therefore the margin in the apparel business shows a promising return. China and Bangladesh are the largest exporter of apparel in the UK.
By considering all of the facts Europe is a very good market for doing apparel and footwear business. But recently there has been a move toward sustainable clothing in the different countries of EU. The regulatory bodies are also promoting sustainable and green clothing that does not harm the environment. Also, there is a trend toward the wearable technology and smart clothing. This wearable smart clothing is expected to see high growth in the near future.