Specialised trade in apparel-footwear – Small, dynamic companies in an increasingly concentrated sector
In 2010, retail sales of apparel and footwear represented a market of €40 billion, representing one tenth of retail sales as a whole. With 70% of sales, specialised retailers dominate this market. They count some 42,000 companies, generally small in size, employing a total of 155,000 employees on a full-time-equivalent basis. From 1996 to 2010, growth in specialised trade in apparel and footwear was lively, boosted by significant renewal of companies. In this sector, apparel represents 80% of companies, jobs and sales. Small traders are faced with the rise of large specialised stores which now represent the majority of shop floorspace. The concentration of specialised trade is increasing. In 2010, store chains represented 40% of stores and two thirds of shop floorspace, sales and jobs.