Global apparel spending to slump by $300 billion in 2020, says GlobalData

Global apparel spending is predicted to decline by 15.2 per cent this year – equivalent to US$297 billion – as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to research by GlobalData, the worldwide apparel market will not return to the level of last year’s value until at least 2022.

“The 10 worst impacted markets, in terms of value, will represent the vast majority of this total loss with mature regions suffering the hardest,” said GlobalData principal analyst Honor Strachan. “The US will account for more than 40 per cent of all lost spend, which will contribute to more major chains filing for Chapter 11 over the next few months.”

Evidence collected by the firm shows that even markets released from lockdown restrictions are performing with dramatic variance depending on consumer confidence, the respective country’s reliance on tourism, the state of economy and unemployment, and the level pent-up demand among potential consumers. The impact of Covid-19 on global apparel spending is thus calculated to reflect an average across all markets.


“Some brands across China for instance are seeing store sales reach back up to 80–100 per cent of pre-Covid-19 trading levels, while apparel retailers in parts of Germany are also experiencing a better bounce back than forecast,” said Strachan. 

He said that contrasted with markets heavily reliant on tourism spending – such as Hong Kong – which are experiencing far tougher trading conditions.

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