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The global fashion business journal

May 22, 202410:56pm

Spain, kingdom of low cost in Europe: fashion is 8% cheaper than the average of the continent

The country is the fourth with the lowest prices for fashion, only after Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.  

Aug 28, 2019 — 9:00am
Iria P. Gestal/ Daniela García

Spain, kingdom of low cost in Europe: fashion is 8% cheaper than the average of the continent



Spain, the kingdom of low cost in Europe. Apparel and footwear are, in average, 8% cheaper in the country than the average in Europe, according to the last data published by European statistics agency Eurostat. In fact, to buy apparel and footwear in the Spanish market is cheaper than in 27 of the thirty countries analyzed in 2018.  


Only Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria registered cheaper apparel than the Spanish market, according to the last available data. United Kingdom, that was in the same position as Spain in 2017, has prices 7.3% below average.


The difference is particularly noticeable in garments, with prices 9.4% lower in Spain than in the rest of the continent. However, footwear, a sector that in Spain holds a deep tradition, is reduced up to 3.2%.





In fact, despite the boom of the sneakers sector, the footwear tradition market in the county and the fact that some low-cost footwear chains are less stablished than in other Central Europe countries, may be some of the factors why Spain remains on the lead compared to markets like Germany in this category.


Fashion isn’t the sector in which Spain is cheaper compared to the European average. In fact, the differences are even bigger in transportation (20% cheaper), alcoholic beverages and tobacco (15 cheaper), restaurants and hotels (14% cheaper) and transport equipment (12% cheaper). Spain is only more expensive only in two categories: communication, 40.2% more and furniture, 4.7% more.





Was Spain always the low-cost territory of Europe?  

The Kingdom of Inditex (that operates with cheaper prices in Spain and Portugal than internationally), and the strong presence of operators like Decathlon or Primark forced down prices of the sector in the Spanish market.


But Spain was not always the king of low cost in Europe. In fact, in 2003 and 2004, the two first years with available data, the prices of the sector in the country were above average in Europe, but since 2005, have lowered more and more every time.


This change of tendency matches the arrival of Primark in Spain, that happened in 2006. The difference with the community average reached its higher number during the crisis, 2012 and 2013, when buying clothes in Spain was 11.7% cheaper than in the rest of the continent.


Capitals of expensive fashion

On the other hand, away from Spanish prices, are the Nordic countries, with Iceland on the lead, where buying clothe is 50% more expensive that the average. Followed by Denmark, 39% more expensive, Norway with 31% and Sweden with 26%.


The big markets of the continent, on the other hand, are quite close to the European average. The most expensive is France, with prices 9.9% higher, while in United Kingdom are 7.3% lower. Italy and Germany, on the other hand, are practically on the average, with 1.1% more and 0.9% cheaper respectively.

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