The global women's ready-to-wear market is highly fragmented, with a variety of segments ranging from luxury to entry-level. The French market in particular is experiencing structural difficulties, with mid-range brands struggling against a backdrop of widespread market contraction accentuated by social unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Demand is influenced by trends such as the rise of environmental and social awareness, where 28% of consumers said they had reduced their clothing purchases for ethical reasons.

Digitization has been significant, with e-commerce gaining traction while traditional retail faces challenges, a trend fueled by consumers' growing online presence and click & collect services. Producers are increasingly scrutinized for their social and environmental commitments, with major players like H&M topping the transparency index with a score of 73%. Despite the setbacks caused by the health crisis, a slow fashion movement is emerging alongside technological advances, reshaping market dynamics.

Trends in the French women's ready-to-wear market and consumer dynamics

A notable trend in the French women's ready-to-wear market is the move towards ecologically and socially responsible fashion, with a growing number of consumers favoring sustainability in their clothing choices. However, the market is facing considerable challenges due to structural difficulties and a noticeable contraction in sales, with social unrest and the Covid-19 crisis further accentuating the decline. On the demand side, consumers are highly price-sensitive, with around 80% considering price to be a key factor when purchasing clothing. In particular, the mid-market segment, which includes brands such as H&M and Zara, is experiencing saturation and competition.

At the same time, the entry-level and luxury segments are relatively more resilient to market pressures. An interesting aspect of consumer behavior is that while almost 80% of women make frequent clothing purchases, the average spend per transaction is moderate, with figures ranging from around 45 to 65 euros, varying according to age group. The 55-64 age group invests the most in ready-to-wear, followed by young and middle-aged people. The emergence and growth of e-commerce represents a fundamental change in the retail landscape.

The proportion of clothing sales made online has jumped from around 14% to 26%, a trend catalyzed by pandemic-induced store closures and social distancing measures. This shift towards digital platforms is significant, given that e-commerce has recorded an impressive increase in market share in just over three years.

Despite the difficulties encountered, the French women's ready-to-wear market is characterized by its flexibility and is aligning itself with prevailing consumer trends that favor social and environmental responsibility. The adoption of ethical fashion is on the rise, with over a quarter of consumers reducing their clothing purchases for ethical or ecological reasons.

In conclusion, the French women's ready-to-wear market is going through a period of change, marked by consumer demand for sustainability, the ubiquity of fast fashion and the rise of e-commerce. Although sales have been impacted by economic and social factors, initiatives focused on ethical production and digital transformation present new avenues for growth and innovation in the sector.

Key trends: the major brands shaping the women's ready-to-wear market

In the diverse and ever-changing landscape of women's ready-to-wear, a matrix of leading brands lays claim to various niches, each bringing a unique aesthetic and market strategy that reflects the preferences of contemporary consumers. The rich tapestry of the market includes leading names that can be roughly classified into different market segments, from fast fashion to the timeless elegance of luxury apparel.

  • Fast fashion and mid-range enthusiasts

Among the sector's driving forces are fast fashion and mid-range brands, known for their speed of execution and their ability to bring the latest catwalk trends to the masses at affordable prices. Brands such as Kiabi and Gémo have made a name for themselves in the entry-level segment, offering trendy items at affordable prices, meeting the needs of a broad public looking for fast, inexpensive fashion. H&M and Zara stand out in the mid-range segment, often praised for their ability to capture the zeitgeist and translate it into coveted collections that resonate with style-conscious shoppers. With an extensive global footprint, they have become mainstays for consumers looking for fashionable clothes that balance cost and perceived quality.

  • Pioneers of pure play

Venturing into the digital realm, pure players like Veepee and Asos have established themselves as formidable forces in the ready-to-wear market. These exclusive online platforms have mastered the art of e-commerce, offering a vast selection of clothing at consumers' fingertips, often customized to their individual tastes. Their agility in the digital space has enabled them to offer different brands and adapt quickly to changing market trends.

  • Luxurious, high-end lineage

At the top of the fashion pyramid, luxury brands such as Hermès and Prada exude exclusivity and craftsmanship, appealing to the upper echelons of the market where brand heritage and prestige dictate desirability. These great houses have long been associated with unrivalled quality and creations that transcend seasonal whims, establishing themselves as benchmarks for the sector. Not far away, upmarket rivals Sandro and Maje offer a blend of accessible luxury, capturing the hearts of those who seek superior quality without venturing into the opulent realms of true luxury. These brands offer contemporary clothing

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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Ready-to-wear refers to all clothing items produced in series thanks to a standardization of sizes. It is therefore opposed to made-to-measure. Non-textile shoes and accessories, as well as products for children, are excluded from this study.

The global women's ready-to-wear market is expanding, notably due to the dynamism of the Asia-Pacific and US markets, which are driving growth. The market is also characterized by a fragmented structure, with no single company accounting for more than 3% of the sector's market share by 2020.

Similarly, the French women's ready-to-wear market is fragmented and divided into several segments, each dominated by leading brands. Indeed, the market is divided according to the price range offered, from entry-level (Kiabi, Gémo) and luxury ready-to-wear (Hermès, Prada) to mid-range (H&M, Zara, Camaïeu) and high-end (Sandro, Maje). In addition to these players, there are also pure players such as Veepee and Asos.

This very strong fragmentation has led to a saturation of the offer which weighs on the French women's ready-to-wear market, particularly on the mid-range brands which represent a large majority of players.

The French ready-to-wear market is experiencing difficulties, as evidenced by a structural contraction in ready-to-wear sales in France. This decline has been accentuated by the social movements of 2019 and the Covid-19 crisis of 2020.

However, the women's ready-to-wear market is evolving in line with trends that constitute important growth drivers.Social and environmental commitment is particularly important in this sector. in addition, the digitalization of the market and the significant influence of marketing and communication campaigns.

1.2 The global market for women's ready-to-wear clothing

The global women's apparel market is growing, but this growth is primarily driven by the dynamic Asian and U.S. markets. The global women's apparel market was estimated to be worth US$*.*** billion in **** and is expected to grow at a CAGR of *.*% between **** and ****.[***] However, this estimate goes beyond the ...

1.3 The French market in difficulty

The French women's ready-to-wear market is experiencing strong structural difficulties, affecting the mid-range segment in particular. The year **** had rekindled hopes of a recovery, but the market's decline became apparent once again in ****. In ****, sales of women's ready-to-wear in France were thus estimated at**.* billion euros.

The health crisis has weighed ...

1.4 Foreign trade in women's ready-to-wear clothing

Women's ready-to-wear imports can be estimated from the share of imports from China. Indeed, **.*% of women's ready-to-wear imports came from China in **** and this share amounted to €*,***.* million according toFashion Network. The amount of imports can be obtained by the following calculation: *** * ****.* / **.*.

Therefore, French imports of women's ready-to-wear can be estimated ...

1.5 The effect of Covid-19

The Covid-** crisis has strongly impacted the ready-to-wear market, as shown in the chart below, which illustrates the evolution of retail sales in value of clothing in specialized stores (***). Due to the qurantine and drop in store traffic, the turnover of specialty stores was divided by * between April **** and April ****.

Sales ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 Consumer profile

Who is buying?

In ****, the average budget per woman decreased by *%, from *** to *** euros, which is indicative of the deconsumption of ready-to-wear that will be explored in more detail in section *.*. Furthermore, the graph below shows that the age categories that spend the most on ready-to-wear are **-** year olds and ...

2.2 Determinants of demand

Source: ****

For their ready-to-wear purchases, French women are primarily inspired by their entourage (***) and everyday people.

François-Marie Grau, General Secretary of the French Federation of Women's Ready-to-Wear, states: "French women are more inspired by their relatives and other people of everyday life and less by people who are supposed to ...

2.3 Demand trends: CSR, a major issue

Ready-to-wear brands are facing a phenomenon of deconsumerism that is growing: **% of French people bought less clothing in ****.[***] In ****, this figure even reached **% for the entire population and **% for women.

The first reason why the consumption of women's ready-to-wear clothing is decreasing is the decline in household purchasing power and the ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Ready-to-wear value chain

The women's ready-to-wear market is divided into the following stages. Using raw materials, textile producers manufacture and supply these textiles to ready-to-wear producers. These ready-to-wear producers make collections of products that are then distributed through various channels to French women.

Source: ****

The production of women's ready-to-wear distributed in France is mostly ...

3.2 Distribution

The following figures are not specific to women's ready-to-wear, but to the whole category, without making a distinction of gender because these figures were unavailable, we have however considered useful to provide the following:

The production in value

If consumer demand for sustainable fashion is growing, and in particular the demand ...

3.3 Distribution: growth in e-commerce

Store or Internet? A growth of e-commerce

Women's ready-to-wear distribution France, ****-****, in percent Source: ****

Marked by the health crisis and confinements, the year **** pushed customers to turn to the internet for their clothing purchases, indeed, the share of clothing sold on the internet rose from **.**% to **% between **** and ****, an increase ...

3.4 The players: a highly segmented market

The actors of the women's ready to wear

The women's ready-to-wear market is highly segmented, with a multitude of players. We can cite the podium in market share of players in spending in the last quarter of ****[***]:

Zara (***) H&M (***) Kiabi (***)

We can also mention Camaïeu, which, before its receivership ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Types of products

Women's ready-to-wear consists of two main categories: outerwear and small outerwear which can be broken down and summarized as follows.

Outerwear includes:

protective clothing: coats, raincoats, anoraks, parkas, windbreakers, jackets, blazers, vests, etc. pants and jeans: pants, shorts, Bermuda shorts, overalls, coveralls, jeans, leggings skirts and dresses: dresses, skirts, suits, ...

4.2 The prices

General price trends

The graph below illustrates the evolution of consumer prices for women's clothing (***), made-to-measure or ready-to-wear. Although this category does not correspond exactly to the scope of the study, the graph reveals a dominant trend in ready-to-wear. Indeed, prices for women's ready-to-wear have been stable for several years. Two ...

4.3 Supply-side issues and trends

Major issues

Among the strategic themes considered important by the companies in the sector, social and environmental commitment comes in first place, with all the professionals questioned considering it to be a crucial subject in the market. The implementation of a well-defined data strategy is also considered a necessary element for ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Regulations

In-store sales

In-store sales are subject to certain rules summarized by Legalplace:

Safety and accessibility standards[***] Mandatory displays for the attention of employees Indication of prices inside and outside the store in euros and including VAT Mandatory contribution to the SACEM if music is played in the establishment

Labeling of ...

List of charts

  • Size of the global women's ready-to-wear market
  • Women's ready-to-wear market size
  • Ready-to-wear brands preferred by 18-30 year-olds
  • Average ready-to-wear budget per woman and age group
  • What kind of clothes do you buy?
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Latest news

Beaumanoir: La Halle's successful turnaround in the ready-to-wear sector - 25/03/2024
  • - Beaumanoir group sales: 2.2 billion euros.
  • - Number of La Halle stores acquired by the Beaumanoir group in 2020: 366 out of 830.
  • - Number of La Halle employees taken over: 2,500 out of 5,500.
  • - La Halle sales in 2023: 550 million euros.
  • - Amount invested over the last three years to renovate and equip La Halle outlets: 33 million euros.
  • - Planned investment to modernize La Halle outlets: over 100 million euros.
  • - Share of e-commerce in the Beaumanoir Group's overall business: 15%.
  • - Sarenza sales: 120 million euros.
  • - Internet sales (e-commerce): 320 million euros.
Showroomprivé progresses despite textile crisis - 14/03/2024
  • - Showroomprivé sales volume: over 1 billion euros, Showroomprivé Ebitda: 21%, or 24 million euros.
  • - Decrease in orders: 5.6%, for a total of 12.9 million orders.
  • - Sport and lifestyle sales: 66% growth by 2023.
  • - Travel and leisure segment: 12% increase.
  • - Marketplace sales: 40 million euros, up 85%.
  • - International business (Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium): 10% growth.
  • - Sales: up 3% to 677 million euros.
Chanel invests in Italy again: new joint for Gensi Group - 29/02/2024
  • **Chanel investment in the Gensi Group Footwear Factory**:
    • - Inauguration of a new 3,000-square-meter splicing department at the Mosciano Sant'Angelo (Teramo) production site.
    • - Activation of 4 new production lines of 70 meters each.
    • - Currently, 6 production lines are in operation, with a plan to double them in the next 3 years through the inclusion of new professional resources.
  • **Corporate Sustainability Initiatives**:
    • - Formation of 3 working groups dedicated to the company's environmental sustainability a year ago.
    • - Reduction in energy consumption and processing waste.
    • - Advances in recycling and reuse.
    • - Launch of in-house training institute "M'Astri Nascenti" in collaboration with Arsutoria School, with 60 people trained to date.
  • **Workforce and Hiring Plans**:
    • - Currently, the company has more than 660 employees, of whom more than 120 are hemlines.
    • - New hires are planned to further increase the workforce.
  • **Manufacturing Chanel and Italian Supply Chain**:
    • - Chanel shoes are designed in France but produced in Italy.
    • - Italian companies controlled by Chanel involved in production: Roveda of Parabiago (acquired in 1999), Gensi of Giulianova (acquired in 2015), and Ballin Shoes (acquired in 2020).
Zadig & Voltaire: founder takes over with his brother - 25/01/2024
  • Zadig & Voltaire was founded in 1997 by brothers Thierry and Arnaud Gillier.
  • Thierry Gillier, the brand's main shareholder, owns over 70% of the capital.
  • Peninsula Capital, a Luxembourg fund, has held a share of the remaining capital since 2020.
  • Arnaud Gillier was appointed president of the company on January 17, succeeding Rémy Baume.
  • The company has 1,800 employees. Zadig & Voltaire has 350 stores.
  • Brand sales in 2023 reached almost 450 million euros.
  • The brand's operating profit was 70 million euros in 2022.
  • The accessories category, including leather goods, accounts for over 40% of the brand's sales.
  • The French market generates 30% of the brand's sales.
  • A boutique inaugurated in Mexico in December.
Kiabi's resilience in the face of the textile crisis - 24/01/2024
  • Kiabi is 45 years old and belongs to the Mulliez galaxy.
  • Kiabi posted sales of 2.2 billion euros last year, up 1%
  • kiabi claims 23 million customers in 26 countries.
  • Kiabi has 606 points of sale and 15-20% of its sales are made online.
  • The brand is number 1 in France in terms of volume, and vies for first place with Intersport in terms of value every year.
  • It has attracted 1 million new customers with the launch of its second-hand service in 2020.
  • The debt-free Kiabi continues to expand, recently entering markets in Uruguay, New Caledonia and Egypt.
  • Kiabi plans to become the world's "favorite responsible and accessible fashion brand for families
  • The company has never deviated from its strategy of offering "fashion at low prices".
  • Kiabi has also launched corners in hypermarkets in Belgium, Italy and France, as well as tests at Decathlon.
  • Kiabi is testing clothing rental in three stores.
Host and Primark: The nightmare continues for H&M, overtaken by Shein - 15/12/2023
  • H&M posted annual sales up 6% to 21 billion euros
  • Spanish brand Zara saw an 11% increase in sales for the first nine months of the year, representing 25.6 billion euros and a profit in excess of 4 billion euros.
  • British brand Primark achieved sales in excess of 23 billion euros at the end of its September trading year.
  • Chinese online retailer Shein is targeting sales of €40 billion this year, while its rival Temu is aiming for €33 billion.
  • H&M reduced the number of its stores and cut 1,500 jobs last year as part of a rescue plan.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Inditex groupe (Zara)
SMCP Groupe (Sandro)
Kiabi Europe
La Halle
Beaumanoir Groupe
GEMO (Eram Groupe)
H&M Groupe
Comptoir des Cotonniers (Fast Retailing Group)
The Kooples Diffusion

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