Everything has changedThe steady increase in e-commerce sales indicates that the e-commerce market has been flourishing for years, while the COVID-19 pandemic marked a radical shift. In 2022, monthly online sales of fashion retail registered a negative trend compared to 2021 but increased tremendously compared to pre-pandemic times. The online fashion market's growth does not show signs of stopping. By 2025, e-commerce is forecast to account for over one-third of total apparel sales in the country.
As the market has grown, it has also become more competitive. While Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce undoubtedly remains a core segment, with B2C retailers accounting for just over 40 percent of all online fashion sales, direct-to-consumer (D2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) players are gaining weight in the sector.
French retailers face world-class competitorsThe fashion e-commerce market in France boasts some successful homegrown brands in competition with world-class platforms. Founded in 2001 and based in Saint-Denis, Veepee, previously known as Vente-privee, is a trailblazer in online flash sales, offering limited-time-only deals on one-off products. Veepee is the top-selling fashion e-retailer in France, with annual net sales outperforming other international marketplaces such as SHEIN or Zalando.
Rising sales in France and abroad for e-commerce and mail-order retailer La Redoute were quick to attract the attention of investors. In March 2022, the Parisian department store group Galeries Lafayette took over the entirety of La Redoute, of which it already owned more than 50 percent.
Although big marketplaces such as Amazon, ASOS, or Zalando have undisputed popularity in France, new alternatives to fashion consumption are gaining strength, such as those offering apparel and accessories a second life. The success of the online resale platform Vinted is an example of that. In addition to being the most visited fashion website in France, its app ranked first in downloads within this category.
purchasing apparel online. Gen Z also has the highest number of consumers who plan to shop online even more in the future. Millennials and older shoppers, meanwhile, showed a greater preference for click-and-collect or in-store return services. This last aspect deserves close attention, as clothes, footwear, and accessories are the merchandise with the highest online return rates in France.