B2C E-Commerce sales of clothing are booming globally
Online clothing and apparel shopping popular in Europe
Across Europe, clothing B2C E-Commerce is booming. In the EU, the share of individuals purchasing clothes and sports goods online increased in 2012, reaching over 20% of individuals. In Germany, apparel is the largest B2C E-Commerce category, having grown by just under a third in terms of sales and reaching several EUR billions of sales. Among the leading players on the market, the Otto Group plans to launch a new E-Commerce fashion project named Collins in 2014, while Zalando more than doubled its B2C E-Commerce clothing sales in 2012. In the United Kingdom, the B2C E-Commerce market for clothing shows high stages of maturity as close to a half of the adult population shops online for clothing. Asos and Debenhams were among the most prominent online shops for fashion products in the UK in early 2013. In France, nearly a half of Internet users shopped for clothing online in 2012, with La Redoute and 3 Suisses being the most popular destinations for shopping.
The clothing and apparel sector is expanding in Eastern Europe as well. In Russia, B2C E-Commerce sales of clothing and shoes grew by over +40% in 2012, and accounted for almost one fifth of total B2C E-Commerce sales. Clothing, shoes and accessories became the most popular online product category in 2012, with nearly half of online shoppers making purchases. Online clothing retailers in Russia have seen significant increase in revenues, some growing by up to 6 times, with Wildberries, Lamoda, Quelle and KupiVip as leading online merchants. Several players, such as KupiVip and Lamoda, attracted large investments from local venture capitalists and from abroad. Clothing and shoes is the leading B2C E-Commerce category in Poland, with a high double-digit percentage of online shoppers making purchases. The number of online shops selling clothes in Poland grows rapidly every year. In Estonia, Croatia, Macedonia and Turkey and some other European countries, clothing was bought by a high percentage of online shoppers, and was one of the most popular online product categories in these countries.
Clothing sector making gains in the Americas
In the United States, apparel and accessories was second to consumer electronics in terms of B2C E-Commerce sales. This category is expected to grow by a double digit percentage figure in 2013, with the growth continuing, but slowing down throughout 2016. Nevertheless clothing is expected to remain the fastest growing product category in B2C E-Commerce. Players such as Abercrombie & Fitch compete to increase their share of the booming US E-Commerce market for clothing. In Latin America, clothing ranks high in popularity for online shoppers in such countries as Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela, but is outperformed by electronics. In Brazil, apparel is the fourth most popular online product category, purchased by around a third of online shoppers in 2012. In Mexico this share is less than in Brazil, as apparel falls behind computers, electronics, books and some other products and services.
Varying levels of clothing sector popularity in Asian-Pacific nations
Clothing is the most purchased product category in B2C E-Commerce in Japan. The globally active apparel retailer Gap Inc opened an online shop in Japan last fall, joining other national and international players. In South Korea, clothing was the among the highest selling categories in 2012, growing at a one-digit percentage rate, which is slightly slower than the total B2C E-Commerce market, signaling high maturity. In China, fashion and accessories had the highest reach of online shoppers, amounting to three quarters of female and a high double-digit share of male online shoppers. E-Commerce sales of apparel increased by over a half to several tens of EUR billion in 2012. Although C2C remains the largest segment of the online market for clothing in China, the market share of independent B2C platforms grows, with large international players, such as Levi Strauss, Inditex, Macy's and Asos launching or planning to launch local online shops. In Australia, clothing was the second most purchased product category in B2C E-Commerce after electronics in 2012 and is expected to remain the fastest growing product category in the B2C E-Commerce through the next five years.
Growing investment in online clothing outlets in the Middle East and Africa
In the Middle East and Africa, local online fashion stores attract large investments from established capitalists, indicating a positive view of the market potential. The Middle Eastern online vendor of clothing, Namshi, a Rocket Internet's project, raised several USD millions of investment in May 2013, while a South African online apparel store Zando received an even larger sum from investors such as JP Morgan. Moreover, in South Africa, the discount sector started to emerge on the online market for clothing, with apparel discount online shopping clubs, such as Runway[Sale], launched in 2012, growing rapidly.
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