China is poised to replace Japan as the world's second-largest retail market by 2012, even as inflation slows some momentum from the consumer giant, a new report by TNS Retail Forward said.
Fashion is set to be a cornerstone of that growth, with homegrown and international names looking to tap into the market. By 2012, apparel and footwear sales are expected to reach $214 billion, a 71.2 percent rise from $125 billion last year, according to the study "Strategic Focus — China's Retail Landscape."
U.S. apparel and footwear sales are expected to swell 20.7 percent to $431 billion in 2012 from $357 billion last year.
"China remains one of the best retail opportunities in the world, despite inflation pressures weighing on near-term growth," said the study, written by Frank Badillo, vice president and senior economist at Retail Forward.
"Much of the continued entry into China is skewed toward apparel retailers, particularly strong brands and upscale retailers," Badillo wrote.
Retailers recently setting up shop in China, or planning to do so, include Hennes & Mauritz, Topshop, Galeries Lafayette, Dockers and American Apparel.
Compared with last year, the country's retail sales, excluding automobiles, are projected to expand 68.1 percent by 2012 to $1.43 trillion. The U.S. is expected to remain the king of the consumer hill, with retail sales growth of 25.6 percent over the next five years to $4.46 trillion. Japan is projected to slide to the number-three spot with an increase of 3.5 percent to $1.2 trillion.
In addition to higher prices, which are especially prevalent in food, retailers face growing government attention to product safety and environmental regulation. Foreign companies also are operating in an period of heightened Chinese nationalism.
To tap into the market, fashion companies are learning some new tricks. Adidas, for example, is churning out polo shirts featuring the Chinese "lucky cloud" symbol.
Learning to speak the language, both literally and in the fashion sense, isn't the only problem facing transplants. There are also competitive pressures.
"Foreign retailers in China continue to plan for aggressive expansion, but more often have fallen behind plan," the report said. "In some cases, the slow expansion is a result of their struggle to acclimate to the market, but in other cases, the slow movement is a result of local red tape."Carrefour's emphasis on a small format for its 387 stores in China has given it an advantage over Wal-Mart's bigger boxes, the study said.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye