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The global fashion business journal

Apr 14, 20243:21am

Greece comes back from the ashes: tourism and fast fashion boots the sector in the country

Fashion sales in the country grew 2.3% in 2018, up to 3.5 billion euros and its estimated that they grow 2.2% more in 2019, according to Statista.

Sep 5, 2019 — 8:56am
Silvia Riera/ Daniela García

Greece comes back from the ashes: tourism and fast fashion boots the sector in the country



Greece overcomes the dark times and goes back into the game. Tourism is one of the growth pointers of the Greek economy and its recovery in the luxury and fashion sectors. At the same time, the crisis that still affects the country makes people look for more casual and affordable clothes, what continues to play on the side of retail giants like Inditex or H&M.


Apparel sales in the country grew 2.3% in 2018, up to 3.5 billion euros and its estimated that they will grow 2.2% more in 2019, according to Statista. Despite that, trade in the sector continued to be far from the 5.8 billion dollars it generated back in 2010.  


Despite its economic situation, the size of the Greek global market overcomes other countries with a 10 million population. This said, the fashion market in Portugal arrived at 861 million euros in 2018 and in Sweden it was 2.4 billion euros. Spain, with 47 million population, arrived at 5 billion according to the last available data.


Starting September, Greece raised the withdraw of cash limits, one of the measures imposed during the crisis. One year ago, the company ended eight years of financial rescue, a program that supposed many macroeconomic adjustments in the country. Greece was the last country of the European Union to leave behind a program of this type, after Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus.


Greece started a new phase with a strongest economic Independence, even if its situation isn’t less complicated. Between 2010 and 2018, the gross domestic product dropped 25%, to 177 billion euros and the GNP per capita dropped 22.5%, unemployment went from 9.5% in 2009 to 20% in 2017. Previsions of the International Monetary Fund foresee a rise of the GNP of 2.4% in 2019, 2.2% in 2020 and 1.6% on 2021.


The International Monetary Fund explained that Greece entered an economic growth period, overcoming most of the economies of the eurozone.





Part of this growth lies in touris, that generates 20.6% of the GNP of the country according to data of the World Travel&Tourism Council (Wttc). In 2018, the sector grew 6.9%. The tourism boom that lives the country reactivated the interest of luxury houses to set its eyes back in the country.


Louis Vuitton and Dior used the boom of foreigners visiting the country to set pop up stores in its islands. Some years ago, the Nammon Village was born, a commercial mall for luxury brands. In 2018, this mall received on average 2,000 visors per day.


However, the acquisition power of the Greeks is not fully recovered. In 2018, the GNP per capita arrived at 1,900 euros, 1.1% more than the previous year, according to the Ocde. For 2019, its estimated to arrive at 2,100 euros and for 2020 to drop to 2,000 euros. Indicators are still far from the 5,600 of 2007.




This new environment has boosted the big retailers, at the same time ecommerce grows but more moderately than in the rest of the European Union, according to Euromonitor. Commercial rents in the high streets are also an indicator of the recovery of the fashion consumption.


Greek exports also increased in the last couple of years. In 2018, sales of the rest of the countries sin the Hellenic republic arrived at 2.1 billion euros, 4.3% more than the previous year.  In the last five years, community exports grew 10%, according to Eurostacom.


While the European fashion industry has been restoring its bonds with the Greek market, the American continues to disinvest in the country. Sales of the American fashion items were 2.3 million dollars in 2018, with a downfall of 11.5% last year. In 2009 American exports in the sector arrived at 7.8 million dollars.  

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