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Retail sales of apparel and footwear in China by month 2018-2020

In December 2020, the retail trade revenue of clothing, shoes, hats and knitwear in China amounted to around 152.66 billion yuan. This represented a 3.8 percent increase compared to the revenue generated in the same period of the previous year.

Textile and apparel industry in China

The textile industry in China has seen a rapid growth over the past two decades and has become one of the main pillars of China’s economy. Throughout the first half of 2020, the monthly textile production in China ranged around 3.3 billion meters. With a textile export value of 120 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, China was the world’s largest textile exporter, accounting for around 39 percent of overall global textile exports. In 2019, clothing and clothing accessories with a total value of over one trillion yuan were exported from China, not taking into account the export of textile articles and textile yarns with a value of over 828 billion yuan. ANTA Sports Products, the leading textile and clothing manufacturer in China, reported total revenues of about 34 billion yuan in 2019.

Nonetheless, the textile industry in China is facing a major transition period. The loss of competitive advantages such as low labor costs and a favorable exchange rate leads to a shift in the market focus. While basic textile production is outsourced to regions with lower costs, China focuses more on specialized textile and fiber products. In terms of target markets, the domestic textile market in China has been gaining importance compared to international markets as well. In 2015, China’s apparel market had reached 237 billion U.S. dollars and was expected to exceed 600 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.

Retail trade revenue of clothing, shoes, hats and knitwear in China from December 2018 to December 2020

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Release date

January 2021



Survey time period

December 2018 to December 2020

Supplementary notes

* According to the source, figures for January and February have been grouped together to curb the influence of the Chinese New Year on the statistic. Chinese New Year falls between January 21 and February 21.

One yuan equals approximately 0.15 U.S. dollars and 0.13 euros (as of January 2021).

According to the source, retail sales refer to the trade revenue of tangible goods not intended for business use traded from wholesale and retail companies to individuals or non producing social organizations. Figures include total revenues of the food and beverage service industry.
During the survey, only wholesale companies with an annual revenue of 20 million yuan and above as well as retail companies with an annual revenue of five million yuan were questioned.

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