Top 5 Largest Online Apparel Markets in the World


The global online apparel market has been growing at a staggering speed over the recent years, driven by the subsequent rise in internet penetration globally, convenience of online shopping, competitive prices, and product variety provided by online apparel retailers. Despite the fact that the market is facing some challenges (such as complexity in supply chain management, high technological requirements changing customer tastes etc.), the global online apparel market still possesses a great potential to grow further, especially in emerging markets like China, Japan and India. Here are the top 5 largest online apparel markets in the world:




The US currently stands as the largest market for online apparel retailing in the world. BizVibe has reported that the online apparel sales in the US rose from 11% of total apparel sales to 19% between 2011 and 2016. The market will continue to flourish, with an expected growth rate of over 17% through 2017. Improved economic conditions in the US, demand for luxury wear, increasing disposable income, and availability of a wide variety of clothing lines online are all expected to contribute significantly to the country’s online apparel market over the next few years.




China is the largest online apparel retailing market in APAC, and second-largest market in terms of revenue generated in the global sales of online apparel. The large population of the country along with increasing internet penetration is one of the major growth drivers for the market. Although the growth in GDP per capita is declining, the online apparel market value is increasing at a fast pace. Consumer demand for apparel is booming and becoming concentrated on fast-fashion trends. While both international and domestic fast-fashion retailers are competing fiercely to gain market share, the demand for the online apparel market still remains high.




Japan is the world’s third largest market for online apparel retailing. Japan is also the second largest market in APAC in terms of online apparel sales. It contributed almost 19% of the revenue generated in the menswear market in APAC in 2016. However, the geographical presence of the country means that it has semi-frequent natural calamities. The 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster had a devastating impact on the social and economic performances in Japan, which also caused a big drawback to the country’s online apparel retail sector.




GDP per capita in UK has been rising at a healthy growth rate since 2013, which shows a positive outlook for the growth of online apparel retailing market. The market in the UK is driven by factors like high demand for luxury wear, improved economy, increasing disposable income, and availability of a wide variety of clothing products. Globally, in 2014, the UK was ranked 24th in terms of gross national income (GNI) per capita with $42,690 GNI per capita.




Germany is another key leading country in the European region for the online apparel retailing market. The clothing market in Germany is the largest in the EU27 region. Germany is gradually regaining its’ position after the Eurozone debt crisis and the GDP per capita in Germany is improving. Germany is the largest country in Europe for menswear. Germany contributed 18.44% of the revenue generated from the value sales of menswear products in the Europe in 2015.




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