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The global fashion business journal

Sep 23, 20207:40am

New captains of fashion in Europe: Poland and the Czech Republic strengthen positioning among the main exporters of the EU

 Poland and the Czech Republic have increased their fashion sales abroad by 104% and 99.16%, respectively, in the last ten years.

Feb 26, 2020 — 8:20am
C. Juárez
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New captains of fashion in Europe: Poland and the Czech Republic reinforce positions among the main exporters of the continent

 

 

 

Eastern Europe keeps its promise. The region, where aspirations in Europe have been concentrated for several decades, has fulfilled the expectations of the fashion sector. With a renewed industry, the territory has become one of the main supply hubs in the vicinity and one of the largest exporting giants in Europe. In fact, Poland and the Czech Republic have doubled their fashion exports in the last ten years, becoming part of the main powers of the continent.

 

The rapid industrial development of the country has led Poland to become one of the fastest-growing markets for fashion in Europe, as one of the main regions for sourcing in Europe and as a consumer market.

 

Poland has doubled its fashion exports in the last ten years, from selling goods worth 7,685 euros (8,345 dollars) to 15.7 billion euros (17 billion dollars). Between 2018 and 2019, the country saw an increase of 1.23% in fashion exports. 

 

This increase is due to the results of the modernization plan of the industrial fabric of the country, which began ten years ago and which has led it to become one of the new supply hubs in the vicinity of the major European fashion operators, boosted mainly by the price and geographical position.

 

The transformation of the country’s textile industry began in 2010 when the European Regional Development Fund (Feder) allocated around sixty million euros (65 million dollars) for the modernization of the sector. Currently, Poland has an industrial fabric made up of around 15,000 companies that employ around 175,000 employees.

 

In addition to the industry, the country is also another of the main emerging countries in terms of consumption, registering one of the largest growth in sales of fashion and footwear in recent years. According to Eurostat, fashion retail in the country registered a year-on-year increase of 2.8% in 2019.

 

 

 

 

Although the country has a small supply of local fashion, in recent months the sector has been revitalized following the creation of Moda Polska, an association promoted by the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology of the country, in cooperation with the Polish Development Fund.

 

Despite the positive outlook for the fashion industry in the country, the forecasts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the Polish economy are in line with the global context of a slowdown. According to the agency, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow from 4% in 2019 to 3.1% in 2020.

 

 

 


The Czech Republic is another country that pulls the growth of fashion exports in Europe. In the last year, the region exported goods of the sector worth 8 billion euros (8.7 billion dollars), 7.53% more than the previous year.

 

This progress indicated that the country doubled its fashion exports in the last ten years, registering a 99% growth. In 2010, Czech fashion sales abroad stood at 4 billion euros (4.4 billion dollars).

 

The fashion and clothing industry play an important role in the Czech market, being the fifth most important sector in the country. In recent years, the sector has experienced a revival boosted by the commitment of the giants of the sector to procured in proximity.

 

In 2019, the sales of the sector reached 53 billion CZK (2.3 billion dollars), 1.2% more than the previous year, mainly boosted by clothing, according to the Asociace textileního-oděvního-kožedělného průmyslu. The sector employs 20,100 people.

 

 

 

Fashion sales in the Eastern European country have also gained ground in recent years. In fact, fashion retail was one of the most beneficial in 2019. At the end of the year, the sector had increased its sales by 6.1% in the country, compared to the 5.2% increase in 2018, according to Eurostat

 

The Czech Republic is also one of those saved from the global slowdown. According to the latest IMF forecasts, the country’s economy will grow from 2.5% in 2019 to record a 2.6% rise in 2020.

 

 

 

 

In addition to Poland and the Czech Republic, Holland was one of the countries that most increased its export share in the last year. The Netherlands sold fashion goods abroad for 23.2 billion euros (25 billion dollars) in 2019, 98% more than in 2010.

 

The country is also the logistic heart of fashion in Europe due to its strategic location since its radius of influence covers cities such as Paris, London, Berlin, Milan or Dusseldorf. Inditex or Tommy Hilfiger are some of the heavyweights of the sector that chose the country to market their products for the entire region of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

 

On the other hand, Spain has been one of the countries to have gained more export share in recent years. Fashion sales abroad have grown by 90.3% since 2010, to 26.3 billion euros (28.6 billion dollars). Compared to 2018, the sector has increased its sales abroad by 5.8%.

 

 

Mature markets are also on the rise

All European Union countries exported fashion goods (including clothing, footwear, and accessories) worth 348 billion euros (378.9 billion dollars) last year, which meant an increase of 1.1% over a year ago and an increase of 48.4% compared to 2010.

 

The top five main exporters are still occupied by the main economic powers. Italy continues to be the main European export power. The country sold fashion goods abroad worth 67 billion euros (73.1 billion dollars) in 2019, 46.9% more than ten years ago and 2% more than in 2018.

 

 

 

 

France also maintains its leadership as the second leading fashion exporter in Europe. In 2019, the French country sold fashion products abroad worth 51.6 million euros (59.3 billion dollars), 8.7% more than the previous year and 78.2% more than ten years ago. This evolution has earned France to position itself as the second-largest fashion exporter in Europe, taking the place from Germany.

 

On the other hand, German fashion sales abroad stood at 51 billion euros (59.2 billion dollars) at the end of 2019, a 36.9% increase over ten years ago. However, the country’s fashion exports have slowed in recent years and registered a year-on-year decrease of 2.6% in the last year, which has meant a fall to third place.

 

Belgium is the fourth largest fashion exporter in Europe. The country, which is one of the main logistics hubs in the region, sold in 2019 fashion goods abroad worth 29.1 billion euros (31.6 billion dollars), 9.1% more than in 2010.

 

 

 

 

In the last year, the United Kingdom has won positions as one of the largest fashion exporters in Europe. Despite the uncertainty generated by the negotiation of Brexit, the British country has gained a position in the table, advancing to Spain and positioning itself as the fifth largest fashion exporter in Europe.

 

In Spain, on the other hand, it has been one of the countries that have gained more export muscle in recent years. Fashion sales abroad have grown by 90.3% since 2010, to 26 billion euros (28 billion dollars). Compared to 2018, the sector has increased its sales abroad by 5.8%.

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