An upturn in the global economy should have a positive impact on the swimwear industry

An upturn in the global economy should have a positive impact on the swimwear industry

The financial crises in North America and Europe have led to reductions in consumer demand for general apparel, but for swimwear in particular, the last five years have not been easy. This could be set to change for some regions, however, as the global economy picks up.

Market conditions have been hard in the developed continents of North America and Europe since 2009, and this has ultimately resulted in slowdowns in the requirement for the manufacturing of garments from low cost countries.

According to just-style’s latest industry research report: 'Global market review of swimwear – forecasts to 2019', world swimwear growth between 2009 and 2014 has not been substantial. Growth has average only 1.1% by US$ value and only 2.2% by unit volume.

Within that global average, the best performing region has been Asia, which recorded value growth, and the worst Europe, which saw declines in both value and volume.

Swimwear market values and volumes
The report forecasts, however, that as we head into 2015, there are signs that world economies are picking up. This, therefore, should have a positive impact on the swimwear industry.

The South American swimwear market, which accounts for only 4.3% of the world retail swimwear market value, will recorded the highest growth of 18%, outpacing the other continental regions.

Europe, however, which accounts for the largest share of the global swimwear market, is only expected to record growth of 5%, which the report deems as “hardly dynamic”. Its volumes are also expected to continue to fall. All other regions are expected to record increases in volumes, with Asia expected to record the highest volume growth.

The authors of the report believe world swimwear prices have stagnated since 2009. But retail prices are now starting to creep up in the developing world, caused by a mix of economic demand and fabric technology factors.

Turning to each region in general, the North American retail swimwear market is expected to benefit from the anticipated lowering of the average age, and the culture in which both sexes and both adults and children are expected to wear swimwear both for leisure and for sporting exercise. Women will continue to spend far more per piece in their pursuit of fashion.

As can be expected, the European market is predicted to continue to struggle, remaining at polar opposites to the North American market. This due to wide divides between the relatively affluent countries of the north of Western Europe and those of the economically disadvantaged Mediterranean South.

The major growth in the unit swimwear market between 2009 and 2014 came from Asia. This growth is expected to continue. The region has different demographic to that of North America and of Europe. It is divided by both age and sex, with the traditional reluctance of Asian women to be seen without clothes, contrasting with a desire by the male sex to embrace the sporting lifestyle.

In South America, just-style expects swimwear growth to be significant, but from a small base. For the rest of the world, a stronger retail industry developing in selected African countries, and more interest in selling in these markets by established international brands, means more growth is expected here in 2015 and beyond.

Fabrics and fibres
The source from which comfort, softness, stretch, and body shaping control is derived is, of course, the fabrics and fibres used in the swimwear. just-style interviewed Ria Stern, the marketing director of Creora, the elastane fibre brand, which is part of Hyosung, for the report.

Stern explained that, at the July 2015 Paris Mode City Interfilere Show, which is the leading European show for lingerie and swimwear fibres and fabric, their marketing accent was firmly on those such trends: comfort, softness, stretch, and body shaping control.

The product launch made by the firm at the show was to make available a new eco-friendly elastane, Creora easy scour. Its purpose was to reduce water usage and improve mill quality. In addition, it was designed to enhance the colour appearance of fabric.

Hyosung president CH Kim said: “This new Creora easy scour elastane has environmental and quality benefits, as the reduced residual oil on the fabric surface after scouring will allow mills to dye and finish more effectively. This is important as we see colour, softness, compression, shaping, fit and function continuing to drive consumer demand as illustrated in our 2016 trends.”

Click on the following link to view the full report: Global market review of swimwear - forecasts to 2019

Expert analysis

Global market review of swimwear - forecasts to 2019

Global market review of swimwear - forecasts to 2019

This latest edition of the global market review of swimwear charts the retail market in volume, value and average unit price for each major world region. Consistent historic, actual and forecast data more