In 2021, the major themes impacting the apparel sector will be: COVID-19, mobile, sustainability, ecommerce, digital media, strategic partnerships, virtual and augmented reality, big data, smart supply chain, artificial intelligence, automation, the future of work, demographics, customer loyalty, geopolitics, personalization, blockchain, health and wellness, regulation, and cybersecurity.
GlobalData breaks down the top 20 themes impacting the apparel sector in 2021.
The global lockdowns during the first wave of the virus caused online penetration in 2020 to spike, and many consumers got used to purchasing online. Though online penetration will fall again in 2021, levels are forecast to be significantly higher than 2019 levels as consumer behavior has changed in the long term.
As consumers increasingly spend more time on mobiles, and functionality and continually develops, the use of mobiles for retail browsing and purchase will catch-up with, and possibly overtake, laptops or computers.
Sustainability was set to be the most important theme in 2020, and though COVID-19 created a distraction when the pandemic was at its height and retailers had to react quickly, consumer demand for retailers to introduce more sustainable options and offer greater transparency on the ethics of their practices did not wane.
The global online apparel industry is dominated by the US and China, with market shares in 2019 of 31% and 26% respectively, but as online retail markets in Western countries become saturated, the ecommerce giants will rush to grab market share in emerging digital economies, such as India and Africa.
Reasons to Buy
Themes are disruptive, so it's easy to be blindsided by industry outsiders who invade your sector. Understanding the themes ecosystem will get you ahead of the curve.
Understand the themes emerging in 2021, allowing you to grasp a wider view of changes in consumer behaviour and how it will impact your markets.
Explore how emerging themes in apparel are allowing industry leaders to evolve, so you can better position yourself for long-term success.
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Companies who invest in the right themes become success stories; those who miss the big themes end up as failures.
House of Fraser
John Lewis & Partners
Marks & Spencer
The boohoo group
Table of Contents
2021 Theme Map
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Smart Supply Chain
Future of Work
Health & Wellness
Our thematic research methodology