Japanese fashion’s biggest brands fall short of expectations as a global recession hits
The world is in the grip of a global economic downturn and a number of Japanese fashion brands are under pressure to do better than expected, a new report claims.
According to the latest global fashion market research by consultancy Gartner, Japan’s fashion brands posted the biggest falls in sales in the first quarter of the year.
Gartners research showed that sales fell by 10.1% in the third quarter compared to the same quarter last year, while overall sales fell 10.4%.
While the decline was not as dramatic as that of some other countries, it was still significant, said the report, which said that Japanese fashion sales fell to the lowest levels since 2007.
It said that despite falling sales, the overall fashion market in Japan was “highly competitive”, with companies like Shiseido, Nippon Yamanote, and Kikkoman “performing well” despite the global downturn.
According the research, “there is no evidence that the market for Japanese fashion will recover to the levels seen prior to the global financial crisis”.
However, it said that the downturn could lead to an increase in demand for clothing and footwear in the coming years, as the Japanese fashion market continues to grow.
The report also said that “market share losses” from the downturn will likely continue to grow in the second half of the financial year, although it said the downturn has already slowed “some” growth in the industry.
Gartners analyst Paul Evans said that many of the companies that have suffered from the global economic crisis have seen “major” sales declines.
“We think that the current downturn is primarily due to the lack of growth in China, Japan, and other Asian economies,” Evans said.
“In this context, we believe that the decline in China has been driven largely by the government’s efforts to contain the growth of social media and other online platforms in the country.”
He added that “we believe that in the medium term, Japan will continue to see strong growth in its fashion sector and that this will likely be driven by the increasing adoption of apparel in the developed world”.
While Evans said he believes that there will be a “slow” recovery in the fashion sector, he also said there is “some doubt” about whether the global recession will have a significant impact on Japanese fashion companies in the near future.
“The market outlook remains broadly positive for the fashion industry, however, there are some risks to the outlook,” he said.
“The main risk to the Japanese apparel sector in the short term is the lack on demand in China and Japan, as well as a potential decline in global demand for apparel.”
The report, entitled The Japanese Fashion Industry: A Global Outlook, is the latest in a series of research reports on the world’s fashion industry.