Womenswear is a mature category than menswear in France. The overall sales of womenswear apparels are more compared to the menswear in France. French men are focussing their attention on their looks and are investing more in clothing influenced by sales periods and discount on occasions. French women wait patiently to buy cheaper apparels. According to the recent study, French men population aged 15 years and above over has increased rapidly than the female population belonging to the same age group over the past years. Etam Développement SCA, Camaïeu SA, Groupe Beaumanoir SA and Inditex, Industria de Diseño Textil SA are the leading competitors in womenswear in France. The womenswear in France involves more than 70 different companies with a wide variety of collections. Majority of the textile outlets are using digitalisation to improve sales and services equipped with RFID (radio-frequency identification). Every item of apparel has a RFID tag containing information on the exact details of an item, offers services like identifying the items location in the store and identifies the delay in the purchase of an item where the management investigates the reasons.
French population is greatly attracted to fashion and are concerned about their appearance. Consumers are taking more control over their personal style, with editorials, blogs, online retailers and social media all playing a part in helping to drive increasing fashion-consciousness among the increasing younger generation of France. The womenswear usually include formalwear, essentials, active wear, outerwear and casual wear. The French womenswear market comprises women's activewear, casual wear, essentials, formalwear, formalwear-occasion, outerwear, nightwear, swimwear, and underwear. Clothing, footwear, sportswear and accessories account for the largest share of sales in the French womenswear market.
According to the report, “Womenswear in France”, France womenswear market is facing market saturation with stagnant leading competitors. Many retailers are changing their trend by offering various types of clothing not only for men and women but also non-clothing segments such as household wares, health, beauty products to attract consumers. Retailers with surplus stock are offering discounts and encouraging consumers to spend more on shopping. Majority of the consumer in France prefer for specialty shops over department stores for apparels and e-commerce is attracting an increasing numbers of consumers.
The two major economic recessions in quick succession in France have affected the growth of womenswear market with declining prices. The increases in fashion, online retailers and price-conscious women in France have fuelled a decline in unit prices. Women’s sports apparel is experiencing a continuous growth with the awareness in health. French bridal wear market in womenswear segment is less influenced by economic environment because consumers are generally motivated to splash out on a wedding dress. Research shows that women’s leggings segment is the most rapidly-growing segment in women’s outerwear market. It was observed that there is a demand for international brands in French apparel market. The leading international brands such as Lululemon, Orlebar, Michael Kors, Calzedonia and Primark exhibit a double-digit growth rate in French womenswear.
The large number of swimming pools and water parks in France has led to more adoption of swimwear. There is a growing demand for luxury swimwear with the introduction of multifunctional cover-up swimwear and beachwear for the increasing population in France. Also, the lingerie market occupies a significant position in the women apparel industry and is considered as a basic necessity to every woman. The lingerie market is divided based on bras, knickers, panties, lounge wear, shape wear and others. The leading competitors in the lingerie market are Jockey International Inc., Hanes, Groupe Chantelle, LVMH, L Brands Inc., MAS Holdings Limited, Ann Summers, Marks and Spencer, and PV H Corporation.
Athleisure style (recycled clothing) is continuing a success in France and the trend of wearing sportswear on a daily basis is favourable. Sportswear specialist brands have benefited from this trend and recently, few fast fashion brands such as H&M and Mango have emerged. These new brands have sought to cash in on the athleisure trend. Most of the French consumers are receptive to ‘Made in France’ labels and recycled clothing. Many leading jeans manufacturers have endorsed into recycled clothing which has a considerable growth. Few operators are willing to pay customers to trade in their old jeans when purchasing a new pair of jeans from their brand. With increasing French population there is a great demand for branded clothing.
Internet retailing is growing in leaps and bounds in womenswear in France. Almost all the French womenswear outlets redoubled their efforts to improve their web-to-store and store-to-web strategies. Common services such as e-booking and click-and-collect are encouraged and sales staff in stores are using tablets to respond to every customers’ needs. Leading retailers are launching apps that are capable of improving the consumers shopping experience. The French womenswear market is accelerated to grow at a rapid pace in the coming years.
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