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Apparel and clothing market Europe - statistics and facts

Europe is home to some of the most lucrative markets for apparel and clothing worldwide. Among the leading European countries, Germany’s clothing industry has the highest value, amounting to approximately 63.17 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. Women’s and girl’s apparel is responsible for the largest share of revenue overall, making up around 39 percent of the market.

Clothing manufacturing in Europe

In recent years, there has been changes in the dynamics of the clothing manufacturing industry in Europe, with many companies choosing to outsource production to cheaper locations across the world. As a result, countries, such as China, Bangladesh, Turkey, India and Cambodia, now rank as the leading suppliers of clothing imported into the European Union. Clothing manufacturing has shown a stable development over the last five years, reaching a peak estimated turnover of 178 billion euros in 2018. However, that figured decreased to around 162 billion euros in the following year. Although annual turnover rates have been generally on the rise in recent years, employment in the sector has declined considerably during that time period, dropping from around two million employees in 2009 to an estimated 1.54 million employees in 2019.

Leading retailers

Many of Europe’s most popular fashion brands are among the leading clothing companies worldwide in terms of brand value. Based on sales in Europe alone, Inditex of Spain comes out on top, with a turnover of around 18 billion euros in 2019, followed by H&M of Sweden and Marks & Spencer, which is based in the UK. Inditex is responsible for several well-known clothing brands, including Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear. The online market for clothing is also getting popular among consumers in Europe, enabling companies such as Zalando to reach revenues as high as 6.5 billion euros in the 2019 financial year. Others, like British online retailer ASOS saw their revenues increase to 3.26 billion British pounds in the 2020 financial year.

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Apparel market in Europe

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