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1.1 Presentation of the swimwear market

A swimsuit is a garment intended to be worn in water, especially for recreational bathing in swimming pools or in the sea and for the practice of swimming. The swimsuit market therefore includes various products for men and women, including briefs and shorts, as well as one-piece swimsuits, bikinis and trikinis.

The swimwear market can thus be divided into two main categories :

  • "technical" bathing suits used by swimmers in the pool or by sportsmen and women
  • "leisure" bathing suits used for swimming in the sea and for the beach.

The world market for swimwear was estimated at $18.9 billion in 2018 and was expected to progress at a CAGR (combined annual growth rate) of 6,4% from 2020 to 2025 to reach $29.1 billion in 2025. This figure is, however, overestimated in the light of the Covid-19 epidemic but is indicative of the positive market dynamics. This global dynamic is driven by population growth, the development of waterfront and poolside activities, particularly in developing countries, and the rise in the range of products to meet the growing demand for increasingly sophisticated products.

The French swimsuit market grew by 1,3% in 2017 but is part of a global clothing market characterized by a structural decline in consumption. The swimwear segment is less affected than the rest of the clothing sector, but its growth remains particularly fragile on the domestic market. However, the players in the swimwear market can count on the export dynamism and several major growth drivers, in particular the digitalization of the sector and the development of eco-friendly products and ethical standards that are in ever-increasing demand.

1.2 An ever-growing global market

In ****, the global swimwear market was valued at $**.* billion. [***]

Prior to the Covid-** outbreak, the market was projected to grow at a CAGR (***) of *.*% from **** to **** to reach $**.* billion in ****. The estimate of the market size in **** is therefore overestimated but the graph highlights the overall positive market dynamics.

Global swimwear ...

1.3 A fragile market

At the next Unique by Mode City trade show, held in Paris from July * to * ****, the turnover for swimwear in France was estimated at ***.* million in ****, an increase of *.*% compared to ****. Structurally, the French swimwear market experienced very strong growth until **** and then a slowdown which explains the current relative slowdown ...

1.4 International trade

The data provided by Eurostat were obtained from the following codes : 

********: Men's or boys' swimwear, knitted or crocheted ********: Women's or girls' swimwear, knitted or crocheted ********: Men's or boys' swimwear (***) ********: Women's or girls' swimwear (***)

In ****, France imported around *** million euros worth of swimwear, a slight decrease compared to ****. Since ****, the value ...


2.1 Consumer profile

A majority of women

The women's segment is dominant and represented **.**% of swimwear sales in France in **** (***). [***]

In ****, **.* million women's swimwear items were sold nationwide for a total of *** million euros, an annual decrease of *.**% . [***]

Consumption of women's swimwear on the domestic market France, ****-****, in millions of euros and items Source: ...

2.2 Determinants of demand

Seasonality of sales

The results shown in the graph below reflect the proportion of searches for a given keyword in a given region and for a specific period of time, compared to the region with the highest rate of use of that keyword (***). Thus, a value of ** means that the keyword ...

2.3 Demand Trends

In the short term: Fashionable models

Concerning the models in vogue in recent years, several types of articles stand out :

The one-piece swimsuit The high waist bikini The printed swimsuit The minimal bikini The underwired bikini [***]

In the long term: Eco-responsible, ethical fashion for everyone

In the longer term, some trends ...


3.1 Globalized production

The diagram below describes the different stages of the swimwear value chain. Using raw materials, textile producers manufacture and supply textiles to swimwear producers. These producers make collections of products that are then distributed through different channels to the end users, namely French men and women.

Source: ****

The production of swimwear ...

3.2 The distribution of bathing suits

There are several distribution channels

Sport retailers : Decathlon, Intersport, Go sport The ready-to-wear brands that offer a bath line The specialist bath and lingerie brands : Etam, Chantelle, Calzedonia, Triumph international, Le Slip Français The generalist ready-to-wear brands : H&M, C&A, Zara, Kiabi, Célio, Jules Specialist bathing products retailers: ...

3.3 Digitalization of the market

Like the entire apparel market, online shopping and the influence of the Internet on these purchases is growing rapidly. Online purchases of swimwear thus recorded an increase of *.*% in value between **** and ****, now representing **.*% of total sales of swimwear.

  Breakdown of swimwear sales by distribution channel France, ****, in % Source : Fashion ...


4.1 Types of products

Materials, cuts, colours, fabrics and trends are the different parameters and criteria essential to the manufacture of a swimsuit, which will make up the width and depth of the offer in this sector.

Evolving over time, the swimsuit has undergone many changes according to fashions, the evolution of our societies and ...

4.2 Prices for swimwear

Two effects are catalyzing the swimwear market in France

On the one hand, the growing weight of generalist ready-to-wear chains in swimwear sales (***) has exerted downward pressure on prices in recent years. [***] On the other hand, the growing demand for increasingly sophisticated products and the development of the eco-responsible and ethical ...


5.1 A strict regulatory framework governing remuneration, retraining and opening up the market

Remuneration governed by collective agreements

Swimwear is part of the collective agreement "manufacture of other clothing and accessories" NAF Code / APE ****** and ******.

The integration of textile regulations

The labelling of clothing is covered by European Regulation ****/****, which lays down the conditions and rules for the labelling and marking of textile products. ...


6.1 Segmentation

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chargé d'études économiques, Xerfi

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Associate Consultant

Mathieu Luinaud

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Education Formation
Robin C.

PhD Industrial transformations

Robin C.

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Pierre D.


Pierre D.

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Ross Alumni Club France

Arnaud W.

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Analyste de marché chez Businesscoot

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Market Research Analyst

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Market Research Analyst @Businesscoot

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Market Research Analyst @Businesscoot

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