In 2020, China was the top ranked global clothing exporter with a share of approximately 31.6 percent, followed by the European Union, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. In that year, China and the European Union were also the leading textile exporters in the world.
Apparel and clothing market in Europe
Europe has one of the most lucrative apparel and clothing markets in the world. In 2018, specialized clothing stores in the European Union generated more than 222 billion euros in turnover from retail sales, but had a downturn in 2019.
Between 2011 and 2019, the number of clothing and footwear retail stores in the European Union has decreased, despite steady increase in turnover from retail sales during this time period. This could be attributable to the key role e-commerce came to play in the apparel market in Europe and beyond. In 2019, there were some 275 thousand stores specializing in clothing and around 57 thousand footwear and leather goods stores in the EU.
Leading clothing retailers in Europe
Europe is home to some of the world’s most famous clothing retailers and brands. The Spanish apparel company Inditex was the leading fashion retailer in Europe, with a turnover of 12.9 billion euros in 2020. Inditex is the mother company of iconic brands such as Zara, Bershka, Stradivarius, Massimo Dutti, Pull&Bear and more. The Swedish H&M (Hennes and Mauritz) followed in second place, with a similar turnover of around 12.5 billion euros. The German fashion retailer Zalando came in third place, with roughly 8 billion euros in annual turnover in 2020. A brand value comparison between H&M and Zara shows that the Swedish retailer’s brand value was consistently higher than Zara’s between 2010 and 2017. By 2018, Zara had overtaken H&M and enjoyed a brief period with a slightly higher brand value. As of 2021, H&M has a higher brand value than that of Zara.
Share in world exports of the leading clothing exporters in 2020, by country
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WTO. (July 30, 2021). Share in world exports of the leading clothing exporters in 2020, by country [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved July 04, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1094515/share-of-the-leading-global-textile-clothing-by-country/
WTO. "Share in world exports of the leading clothing exporters in 2020, by country." Chart. July 30, 2021. Statista. Accessed July 04, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1094515/share-of-the-leading-global-textile-clothing-by-country/
WTO. (2021). Share in world exports of the leading clothing exporters in 2020, by country. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: July 04, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1094515/share-of-the-leading-global-textile-clothing-by-country/
WTO. "Share in World Exports of The Leading Clothing Exporters in 2020, by Country." Statista, Statista Inc., 30 Jul 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1094515/share-of-the-leading-global-textile-clothing-by-country/
WTO, Share in world exports of the leading clothing exporters in 2020, by country Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1094515/share-of-the-leading-global-textile-clothing-by-country/ (last visited July 04, 2022)