Retail sales of clothing and footwear in Poland are likely to see "moderate" growth this year and next as the country continues to recover from the economic downturn.

The forecast from PMR comes after improved economic growth in the country led to a 4.6% rise in clothing and footwear sales in 2010. The research firm now expects sales to climb by 5.8% in 2011 and 6.3% in 2012.

According to its report 'Clothing and footwear retail market in Poland 2011. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2011-2013,' improvements in macroeconomic data "should be reflected in increased purchases of clothing and footwear."

Barriers to market growth include the limited purchasing power of Polish consumers and strong competition, as well as a shortage of retail space in shopping centres.

PMR estimates suggest clothing accounts for 77% of the total value of the clothing and footwear market in Poland. In 2010, the clothing segment topped PLN21.4bn (US$7.5bn), while the footwear sector was valued at nearly PLN6.5bn (US$2.3bn).

Clothing sales are expected to continue to grow faster than footwear in the coming years. The best prospects are seen in everyday mid-range clothing as well as cheaper discount clothing. Sportswear also has a high development potential.