With more than 75 million employees at any given time, the global apparel market size averages $1.7 trillion in sales every year. Apparel is one of the largest industries in the world today, with total exports averaging $412 billion annually.
In the United States, the value of annual retail sales of apparel averages $361 billion per year. Consumers will purchase more than 19 billion different garments through 280,000 different fashion retail outlets. When footwear is combined with the apparel market, more than 4 million people are employed in the United States because of the apparel market size.
Here are some more facts, figures, and statistics about the apparel market that help to shine a light on what the future of this industry may be.
Facts About the Apparel Market Size
1. Each American will spend $1,141 per year, on average, for apparel. That’s per person, not per household, so a family of four will spend more than $4,500 per year on their apparel needs.
2. The average American purchases 64 new garments every year. This accounts for about 28% of global consumption.
3. Employment in the US through the apparel industry has decreased by over 80% since 1995.
4. Imports from China contribute the largest share of garments for purchase in the United States, supplying 34% of the total goods.
5. The average price for apparel article in the US: $19.
6. Clothing store sales contribute more than $178 billion to the economy every year.
7. The total value of apparel product shipments in the US: $12.86 billion.
8. The total UK household consumption on clothing and footwear is €59 billion.
9. The UK apparel industry supports more than 600,000 employees and is ranked third in Europe in size, coming behind only Germany and Italy.
10. In the UK, it is believed that more than $6.7 billion in unworn clothing is currently hanging in closets throughout the country.
11. Germans will spend €68 billion on apparel in the next year, supporting 712,000 employees.
12. The average German pays €800 annually for apparel.
13. The world’s child apparel market reached over $180 billion in sales in 2014, achieving a 15% increase in just 5 years.
14. Only 5% of the world’s apparel market comes from cotton that is organically grown.
15. Residents of Manhattan spend the most on apparel per month in the United States, averaging $362 in purchases.
16. By 2025, the US apparel market size is expected to be $285 billion. This will put it in third place behind the entire European Union and China.
17. The current market size of the apparel industry in India today: $45 billion. The expected size of the industry in 2025: $200 billion.
18. Outside of the top 9 consumers in the apparel industry, the rest of the world only contributes $75 billion to the industry. By 2025, that figure is expected to reach $195 billion.
19. Nike’s revenue amounted to approximately $24.13 billion FY2012. They employ about 44,000 people, headquartered in Beaverton, OR and are considered the world’s largest apparel company.
20. The gross margin on retail sales in US wholesale $40.6 billion.
Why Are Americans Consuming So Much Apparel?
Wages might be stagnant in the United States for the working classes, but productivity is actually up. Americans have one of the highest productivity rates in the world today and high productivity puts wear and tear on apparel. There is also a sense of fashion within the modern workplace that provides confidence and promotes even more productivity. When people feel like they look good, then they are willing to work a little harder because of that confidence.
There’s also the fact that with important Chinese goods, apparel costs are relatively low in the US. With the average price being just $19, that’s just an hour or two of work for many employees to purchase something. Looking good has its own tangible value since it brings self-confidence, so pay $19 to feel awesome when times are a little tough feels like a pretty good deal.
The need for apparel is going to expand not in the established markets, however, but in the growing APAC region. Explosive growth in India is going to fuel the apparel industry for the next decade while sales track inflation elsewhere. The apparel market size is going to continue growing, but that growth will be seen in new markets. Innovation will drive down employment rates, while prices remain relatively stable, and this ultimately means that households will continually spend thousands of dollars in the future so everyone can look and feel great.