Apparel and clothing market Europe - Statistics & Facts

The apparel and clothing market is one of the largest in Europe, with all Western-based economies showing a year on year rise over the next four years. The United Kingdom has the largest market in Europe, with an expected value of 77 billion U.S. dollars in 2020; this is more than the total combined clothing markets of Eastern Europe. However, the Eastern European apparel segment is still showing signs of growth, with 2017 expected to show a market value of 68 billion euros.


Even though the UK is leading in terms of market value, Germany is at the front regarding clothing and apparel market share, with 19.8 percent of the European market represented there.

The clothing manufacturing industry is also very prominent within Europe, with manufacturing sectors such as textile and clothing showing stable development over the last five years. This cannot be said for the employment sector within this industry, which unfortunately has seen an overall decline. This may be due to many factors such as cheap labor in non-European countries and the rising rent at manufacturing properties.

China is still the leading importer of clothing goods into the European Union with approximately one fifth of the market share. This can be seen when looking at total imports of clothing into the EU. However, the export market has fluctuated in recent years. After showing positive growth until 2008, the market then de-stabilized and has been on a rollercoaster ever since. Surprisingly, despite these developments, the Swiss market is the largest importer from the European Union, with a value of 3.4 billion euros.

In terms of the retail market, many European companies are doing exceptionally well, with brands like LVMH from France and H&M from Sweden showing large retail sales on a global scale. This may be due to the growth of not just the clothing market, but also the prominence of online markets over the last few years.

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