Industry revenue of “retail trade in textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods“ in South Africa 2011-2023

South Africa’s previously flourishing clothing industry suffered a serious downturn during the late 1990s with many local companies having to shut operations. Difficult manufacturing conditions, lack of government support and the huge influx of clothing made in China, India and Bangladesh were the main reasons for this. In fact China is still the largest exporter of textile globally, with India at third place.

However, the industry has begun to show signs of recovery especially from a retail perspective with revenues generated from the sales of textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods in South Africa, expected to increase from 11.5 billion in 2016 to over 17.5 billion in 2023. An incentive program initiated by the country’s Department of Trade and Industry in 2009, to make the domestic textile and clothing industry more competitive, has played a key role in this retail and wholesale recovery.

Local manufacturing is gathering steam across many sectors including clothing as the government promotes Made in South Africa labels. Retailers have also started supporting domestic sourcing, which in turn allows them to respond more positively and quickly to dynamic market trends and diminishes their exposure to currency fluctuations.

E-commerce is experiencing robust growth in the country, mainly due to lower prices and overall convenience. As a result online fashion sales are expected to emerge as the second largest e-Commerce category in the country by 2023, just behind electronics and media.

Industry revenue of “retail trade in textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods“ in South Africa from 2011 to 2023

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Supplementary notes

* Estimate - This also applies for past years as data provided by statistical institutions often is not available for more recent years.

Currency conversion factor: (ZAR -> USD) = 0.076

The industry classification is based on the SIC - system in South Africa. The industry “retail trade in textiles, clothing, footwear and leather goods“ has the code “6232“.

Details on the methodology can be found here.

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