Western Europe’s Jeans by the Numbers

Limited growth — and some erosion — expected as markets navigate economic weakness.

Western Europe’s $19 billion jeans market accounts for about 23 percent of global jeans consumption. While the U.S. is the top jeans market — followed by China, Brazil, Japan and Russia — the top 10 is rounded out by four Western European markets: the U.K., Germany, France and Italy, according to 2011 research by Euromonitor.

This story first appeared in the August 29, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

While southern Europe is being hard-hit by the economic downturn, northern European markets are faring better.

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• In the U.K., jeans grew 2 percent in both volume and value terms last year, reaching almost 2 billion pounds, or $2.5 billion at average exchange, with Diesel and its 9 percent market share leading the way. In the five years through 2016, sales of jeans are expected to register compound annual growth of 2 percent in both volume and value.

• In Norway, sales of jeans increased 1 percent in 2011 in both volume and current value terms. H&M led the jeans category with an 8 percent market share.

• In France, sales of jeans posted growth of 1 percent in 2011 to reach 1.8 billion euros, or $2.2 billion at average exchange. Sales are expected to decline by 1 percent over the forecast period from 2011 to 2016.

• Meanwhile, in troubled Greece, sales of jeans shrank 14.5 percent in 2011 and are expected to decline another 4.6 percent in the five-year span. Premium jeans suffered the most last year, with a decline of 18.3 percent.