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The global fashion business journal

Jun 15, 20243:23pm

Fashion fails R&D: boosts 50% in investment but ranks at the end of the list

Sports fashion giant Adidas, luxury companies Christian Dior and Prada, or the Swiss Swatch dedicate all of them part of their budget to research and development (R&D).

Nov 26, 2018 — 9:30am
S. Riera

Fashion fails R&D: boosts 50% in investment but ranks at the end of the list



Fashion fails at R&D. The sector has only six of its companies in the ranking of the most innovative enterprises worldwide, which gathers about a thousand. The few included in the classification are furthermore way below the top positions, where the names of technologic titans comfortably stand out.


In spite of that, fashion raised its R&D investments a 49.6% between 2012 and 2018. Seven years ago, consultant PwC published the first edition of the Global Innovation 1000 report, which includes the thousand companies that destine more resources to research and development (R&D).


The investment evolution experienced by the companies included in the list is similar to the one registered in the conjunct of companies from all other sectors. In 2018, they disbursed a total amount of 781.8 billion dollars (685.56 billion euros) destined for R&D, a 49.5% more than in 2012.





The fashion companies that stand among the thousand club are Swatch, Adidas, Pou Chen, LVMH, Christian Dior and Prada, but they are extremely far away from the top positions, ranking between the five hundred and eight hundred positions.


The Swiss watch Swatch Group is the best positioned in the ranking, standing at number 503. The Helvetic company’s R&D investment registered an increase of 0.4% in 2018 in base to the previous year.


Adidas, standing at 548, is one of the companies from the sector that carried out the most R&D investments. The German company’s investment raised a 25.5% in 2018 compared to 2017. The group has essentially dedicated its efforts for the research of new machinery and strategies that allow it to connect to the final consumer.





Luxury has also entered the thousand club for it is one of the fashion sectors that destines the most resources to R&D. The French conglomerate LVMH stand at number 735 in the list, after upgrading its economic assignations to R&D a 17.1%. Christian Dior is one step below, thanks to some investments which recovered a 6.6%.


Another European luxury company that dedicates part of its budget to research is Prada. The Italian company raised its investments in 1.5%, standing among the top one hundred.


Footwear manufacturer Pou Chen is another of the companies investing in R&D, although its position reduced a 10.2% in only a year. All in all, the Taiwanese company is located at number 560 of the ranking.


Amazon leads the Global Innovation 1000 classification. The United States giant of e-commerce disbursed 22.6 billion dollars (19.81 billion euros) during 2018 for R&D, which has entailed a growth of 40% in base to last year. The silver medal in the ranking is due to the software company Alphabet, which raised 16.3% its investment reaching the figure of 16.2 billion dollars (14.2 billion euros). Volkswagen closes the podium with an expense of 15.8 billion dollars (13.85 billion euros), a 14.1% more than last year.

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