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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.

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.