Value sales within the Dutch designer apparel decreased in 2012. Demand for luxury products in general suffered as the Dutch economy started to show signs of recession in 2011, with undermined consumer confidence directly impacting sales of apparel products.
Despite a positive attitude towards branded luxury products, more Dutch people restricted purchases or looked for less expensive items, resulting in negative growth for most subcategories during 2012.
Despite a general contraction in demand, some designer apparel manufacturers responded with intensified promotions and the release of more frequent collections aimed to induce demand.
Men's designer jeans generated 3% current value growth influenced by the greater focus of manufacturers on the men's segment, targeting younger consumers with high-profile advertising campaigns and in-store promotions. Men's designer underwear was another product that received renewed promotional efforts resulting in an increase in sales after a period of negative performance.
Larger subcategories in design apparel for men such as jackets and coats or shirts continued to experience lower current value growth in 2012. People restricted purchases of more expensive items, postponing buying designer products or choosing standard apparel products that carried lower prices.
Internet retailing emerged as the fastest growing channel for distribution of designer apparel in the Netherlands. Instead of the consolidation of internet retailing players, distribution of designer apparel is witnessing traditional retailers such as department stores or specialist encouraging their clients to visit and purchase online through their websites. Retailers invested to launch and develop online websites giving consumers more convenience as a measure to avoid the shift by customers towards shopping online.
The market for luxury apparel is highly fragmented in the Netherlands. Due to widespread presence and multiple brands, manufacturers do not often hold more than 10-20% of total sales of the category in which they are present. In 2012, manufacturers intensified promotional efforts in view of the contraction in demand, seeing it as an opportunity to maintain promotion and consolidate their position and brand strength.
For more information on the Dutch designer apparel market, see the latest research: Dutch Designer Apparel Market
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