Blog: Leonie BarrieLondon’s fashionable market

Leonie Barrie | 23 September 2009

As the global fashion circus moves away from London and on to the catwalks of Milan, designers are left hoping that efforts to make the city’s 25th anniversary fashion week one to remember will translate into a business boost too.

New figures, though, suggest that despite fears to the contrary, the fashion industry has been remarkably resilient to the global economic downturn.

According to Mintel's Global Market Navigator (GMN), the UK, France and Italy have all experienced very stable markets over the past few years – and this is set to continue over the next 4 years.

In the US it says the clothing market has continued to grow throughout the downturn, and is even likely to pick up the pace of growth next year and in 2011.

But where the UK outshines them all is in the amount of money spent per person on clothing.

Forget the stereotypical style hungry Italians (who spent EUR461 per person on clothing in 2008), high spending French (EUR355) and fashion absorbed New Yorkers (EUR497). It was the Brits who each spent EUR728, even in the depths of the recession.

Moreover, the UK clothing market has fallen by just 2.5% since 2007, and remains a sizeable GBP34.7bn in 2009. And Mintel GMN predicts a return to steady growth over the next few years as the UK market value climbs to GBP37.5bn in 2013.

Another surprising figure is that the UK clothing market is larger than both the French and Italian markets.

And that while the population of Great Britain is just one-fifth of America's, the UK market still manages to be one-third of the size of the US.


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