What you need to know

With clothing and footwear accounting for 6% of total consumer spending in 2018, Italy has the potential to be one of the more lucrative country markets for both domestic companies and the wide variety of international clothing retail groups which operate in the country. Although clothing specialists still hold a dominant two-thirds of the market in terms of their share of total consumer spending, it is clear that they are steadily losing ground to other types of retailer, with many reporting falling revenues and ever-lower profitability with each year that goes by.

Specialist clothing retailers in Italy are facing a challenging trading environment at the moment. Competition from online operators, sports retailers and rival specialists, allied with increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, is placing significant pressure on their businesses and driving down profit margins. At the same time, they are trying to adapt their business models to respond to the increasing calls for greater sustainability in fashion, both from businesses themselves but also consumers. Additionally, there is the challenge for the leading store-based retailers of how to resist the increasing competition from pureplay online fashion retailers and how to leverage their store estates to best effect. With the Italian economy in the doldrums, we expect to see some businesses going under and a round of consolidation within the industry, which remains very fragmented, in the next year to 18 months.

Areas covered in this report

This report covers the clothing retail market in Italy, with a focus on clothing and fashion specialist retailers. The report does not cover non-specialists, such as hypermarkets, in detail although these are covered briefly in the consumer research section.

The report combines analysis of the market in Italy, including market sizes, specialists’ sales and forecasts, along with our in-depth consumer data, which analyses shoppers’ behaviour. A number of relevant company profiles are also included.

For our consumer research this year we asked questions on the following topics:

  • Participation in in-store and online/catalogue shopping for clothing in the past 12 months

  • The retailers used for clothing shopping in the past 12 months.

  • Responses to a series of attitudinal statements relating to shopping for clothing.

For the purpose of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Consumer spending: The total amount spent by Italian households (including sales tax) on clothing, via all channels, i.e. clothing shops, hypermarkets, online, at markets etc.

Retail sales: total sales of all types of goods and services (excluding sales tax) via stores and directly to the consumer (mainly online) by specialist clothing retailers. It includes online sales of these retailers where the majority of sales are in bricks and mortar outlets.

Back to top