LONDON — The global apparel and footwear market rose 4 percent to $1.7 trillion in 2017 in terms of retail sales value, according to Euromonitor International, the market research provider. The company also said that even as clothing sales climb, traditional fast fashion could be on the wane as Millennials favor more individual looks.
Sportswear grew 6.8 percent to $300 billion, while children’s wear was up 6.2 percent to $160 billion. Both categories outpaced men’s wear and women’s wear, which grew 3.7 and 3.3 percent, respectively, to $419 billion and $643 billion.
Kseniia Galenytska, senior analyst at Euromonitor International, said fast-fashion brands have been “bigger value gainers” in the past few years. “The success of fast fashion has been near universal, thanks to efficient supply chains and economies of scale that have allowed fast-fashion brands to market design-led offerings at very low price points,” she said.
She noted that H&M grew by $4.8 billion, according to Euromonitor International’s provisional estimates. She also pointed out that as fast fashion becomes widely available, it is “erasing identity and true personal style is becoming obsolete.”
That’s one trend Millennials are not embracing. Instead, she said they are becoming disillusioned and eager to recapture their own personal style. Millennials are “seeking unique and individually tailored products that reflect their own values, rather than following a homogeneous style,” according to Galenytska.
To respond to this, fashion brands are offering personalized products to consumers and looking for ways to deliver personalized solutions “quickly and on a larger scale.”
Galenytska said personalization will remain a key trend within the fashion industry for the next few years. “Brands really need to work hard to bring personalized products into the mainstream by reaching the scale, speed of production and delivery that fast-fashion retailers provide,” she said. She pointed to Adidas and its personalized sweaters and its “Knit for you” pop-up store.
The report also stated that Internet sales made up 16 percent of global apparel and footwear revenues in 2017, a rise of 10 percent from 2012. The ease of shopping at home, adjustable return policies and better delivery options will bolster online sales, with Euromonitor forecasting that the sector will account for 20 percent of apparel and footwear sales in 2021.