Over the next five years, the Australian apparel and footwear industry is expected to experience strong growth, particularly from sportswear and children’s wear categories. In response to the strong demand for active wear, a growing number of apparel brands have extended their profile to include athleisure.
In 2017, international and local fast fashion brands continued to expand store footprints in areas outside capital cities to capture consumers living in suburban areas. Fast fashion brands in 2017 such as Cotton On and H&M opened 31 and six new outlets respectively.
Athleisure is set to continue to be the driving force in the sportswear category and the growing number of older parents who have greater financial stability and are more willing to purchase high quality clothing for their children will support the children’s wear category. In the apparel, footwear and sportswear category, online retailing is expected to be a key channel in driving sales. Since consumers are accustomed to shopping online through websites and mobile applications, apparel and footwear retailers are expected to offer products in these channels to remain relevant.
A seamless shopping experience between online platforms and physical stores facilitated by mobile applications and services such as same day delivery and click and collect will be new norms rather than differentiators between brands.