In this blog post, we take a closer look at the 25 fastest-growing largest Apparel Retailers in Europe, high-growth fashion retailers that are worth watching and the disruptive influence of e-commerce on the apparel retail market in Europe.
Fung Business Intelligence Centre (FBIC) recently published a report with Europe’s 25 Fastest-Growing Major Apparel Retailers.
According to the report, a number of big European apparel retailers are struggling to maintain growth amid heightened competition. Marks & Spencer, Esprit and Benetton are among the names trying to recapture the attention of shoppers who have been spoilt for choice by the growth of e-commerce and fast-expanding chains such as Zara, Primark and TK Maxx.
Posting average annual growth of nearly 95% from 2010 through 2014, German Internet pure play Zalando comfortably takes first position in the ranking.
The report underlines 4 major reasons how Zalando achieved its pole position in the ranking:
Its midmarket positioning, which is very different from the youth-fashion pitch of ASOS and boohoo.com, has helped it gain scale.
It has expanded into many European markets (15 at the time of writing) from its German origins.
It has moved far from it roots as a footwear retailer, with fashion now dominating its site.
- It has benefited from some European store-based clothing retailers’ relatively slow move into e-commerce.
Apart from Zalando, there are five other Internet-only retailers in the top 10:
Online Fashion Retail Trends to watch
E-commerce sales in Europe grew from €131.61 billion in 2013 to €156.28 billion in 2014, which corresponds with a growth rate of 18.4%. And the European e-commerce industry is expected to increase with this same growth rate in 2015, so it will be worth €185.39 billion at the end of the year. So it is safe to say that Europe has embraced the online shopping rage. So where stands the retail apparel business in this?
According to some experts, Europe is the world’s fashion e-commerce centre in fact. Silicon Valley is no longer in vogue for some sectors, notably fashion e-commerce. Instead, Europe has emerged as the most successful springboard for this fast-expanding group.
Londen and Paris are according to FT Magazine currently the fashion world’s e-commerce centre, with young start-up entrepreneurs deliberately choosing for Europe.
For example, Meg He and Nina Faulhaber, who are launching an online workout-wear brand called ADay for millennial women. Mag He and Faulhaber, a former German gymnast and venture capital associate, have joined a slew of fashion start-ups that are bypassing Silicon Valley when establishing a home base. “It was obvious what side of the Atlantic we wanted our headquarters to be on,” says Faulhaber. “We knew that we had to be in London if we wanted our brand to gain real traction — it is now the fashion start-up capital of the world. And when we took the plan to our investors in both Europe and the US, they agreed.”
The evolution of retail logistics
The growth of online sales for apparel retailers, but also the general retail sector as a whole, has impacted and disrupted logistics and transportation flows for many organisations. The main impact that the fast growing e-commerce has on today’s global supply chains and logistics environment is the rapid increase of small parcel volumes. Next day and even same day delivery are becoming the standard as shoppers are taking control of delivery demands, forcing shippers to strategize their parcel shipment methods, because the profitability of any e-commerce channel can be dramatically influenced by the overall shipping costs.