Dec 10, 2018
French apparel: Consumers head for "deconsumption," finds French Fashion Institute
Dec 10, 2018
Paris, December 6 2018 (AFP) -The French Fashion Institute (IFM) expects textile and apparel consumption in France to drop by 2.9% at the end of 2018, confirming the negative trend of the last few years after a slight rebound in 2017 (+0.6%). In the first ten months of this year, France’s textile and apparel market lost 2.6%, all of its product categories posting a downturn except for home linen, which grew 1.1% (detailed data by category and distribution channel is available on FashionNetwork.com’s Premium newsletter).
According to the IFM, the market has been declining since 2008, and 2018 is expected to be one of the worst years in the last ten. Since 2007, the market has lost 15% of its value across all distribution channels.
Among the various channels, only remote selling and e-tail, whose market share has reached 8.8%, are managing to post positive results, having grown by 2.9% in the first ten months of the year. Nevertheless, according to the IFM’s study, “the positive trend of online sales (+5.3%) doesn’t compensate for the slumping sales in [physical] stores (-4.3%).”
The ‘deconsumption’ trend
The study, carried out under the supervision of Gildas Minvielle, head of economic analysis at the IFM, was presented at the Institute's annual workshop, and it underlined how France is heading towards “deconsumption.” According to a consumer survey featured in the study, 44% of interviewees stated they bought fewer clothes in 2018, a figure as high as 51% for women.
For 60% of those who bought fewer clothes in 2018, this “deconsumption” was “forced” (budget limitations, price rises), while the remaining 40% talked about their “choice” of “consuming less but better” for “ecological and ethical reasons,” or due to a willingness to “de-clutter stocks.”
The trend is bolstering the second-hand apparel market, which the IFM estimated will be worth €1 billion in France in 2018. Notably, one third of interviewees stated they bought second-hand clothes online.
The IFM also noted that, in the last 10 years, the mid-range market segment has been the only one recording a decrease on average (-5%), being also the segment with the highest market concentration (40% of stores in France).
Finally, in terms of forecasts for 2019, the IFM’s study estimated that French apparel exports will exceed €10 billion, while domestic market sales will again post a decrease, though a smaller one than this year, at -0.9% instead of -2.9%.
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