Global Women’s Apparel Market Overview

Global women's apparel market

The global women’s apparel market has had steady growth associated with growing consumer spending power over the last few years. In 2015, the value of the global women’s apparel market reached US$505 billion, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 3% during the next 5 years, according to the report from Technavio.


One of the fastest growing segments is luxury clothing, which is expected to grow at a higher year-over-year rate in terms of sales compared to the mass market. Luxury apparel brands such as Louis Vuitton from LVMH, Gucci from Kering, and Hermès have expanded significantly across the globe during the last five years.


With an increasing number of consumers focusing on physical fitness, the active lifestyle clothing segment will likely have greater demand over the coming years. From 2010-2015, women’s activewear and sportswear sales increased by an average growth rate of more than 8%. Brands are continually rolling out new lines of athleisure clothing such as Adidas’ Stellasport and Gap’s women’s athletic wear outlet Athleta. In addition, a growing trend of expressing individuality and creativity will support the growth of the designer clothing segment.


The tops segment accounted for the largest share of the market in 2015. Tops and bottom wear are the two biggest segments, and together make up more than three-fifths of the global women’s apparel market. Both segments are expected to have continual growth and retain their positions in the market over the forecast period.


In Europe, sales in the women’s apparel market has mainly been driven by the growing number of fashion-conscious consumers. The major markets for women’s apparel are the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Russia, and Italy. Specialty store retailers represent the largest share of sales in the European women’s apparel market in 2015, where value sales through this channel generated $126.3 billion, representing 74.63% of the market’s overall value. Also, value sales through department stores generated a revenue of $27.26 billion in 2015, accounting for 16.11% of the market’s total revenue. The women’s apparel market in Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.9% over the forecast period.


In North America, the primary markets include the US, Mexico, and Canada, and the US is the largest country for women’s apparel products in the world. Its contribution to the global market was 29.15% in 2015, and its share in North American market was 92.22% in the same year. In the next five years, the women’s apparel market in North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.01%.


The women’s apparel market in APAC is expected to have the highest CAGR in the world of around 4% over the next 5 years. China and Japan control two-thirds of the women’s apparel market in APAC. Globally, China was the second-largest market with a share of 9.98% in 2015, and Japan was the third-largest market with a share of close to 9%. India is the fifth-largest country in APAC after China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.


As for the rest of the world, Brazil is in the lead, with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa as the other key markets. The contribution of Brazil in the Rest of the World market was approximately 46% in 2015, while South Africa contributed close to 12% of the market revenue. Specialty store retailers accounted for the largest portion of sales at 70% of the overall market.


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