JUST THE FACTS: New York City officials’ release of the Fashion NYC2020 final report Tuesday did not present the most robust forecast for the apparel industry. The U.S. apparel industry is expected to only increase at about 2 percent annually. More significant growth is predicted in the BRIC countries, where the annual GDP increase is expected to be between 6 and 9 percent (compared to 2 to 4 percent for many developed countries.)
Nevertheless, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other industry supporters used the 27-page report to highlight the need to enhance the city as a top destination for designers and fashion design entrepreneurs, bolster its reputation as a hub of the wholesale trade and department stores and as a global center for fashion media, marketing and retailing. The report listed several ways to help the city fashion industry stand apart — attract top talent to enhance the business side of fashion, set up more networking and metoring opportunities, develop a hub of innovation for specialty and multichannel stores and assist emerging designers with loans for production and vetted local factories.
The report also noted how consumers are spending at high and low price points, and not in the mid-tier price range, the sweet spot for many department stores. From 2004 to 2009, consumer spending at U.S. off-price retailers grew at 6 percent annually, while spending at mid-tier department stores fell by 4 percent annually, the report noted. On a more positive note, New York fashion week generates $532 million in direct visitor spending and $865 million in total economic impact each year.