“French clothing specialists are under pressure and the sector is undergoing significant structural change. Flat or falling spending has been compounded by the arrival of new international players, the rise of e-commerce, a keen focus on price and the arrival of new generations with different consumption habits. More and more retailers, both store-based and online, are seeking to increase their share of a shrinking market. This is resulting in a brutal redistribution of the cards."
– Natalie Macmillan, Senior European Retail Analyst
Spending on clothing in France has been flat or falling for several years and declined by 0.9% in 2016. Against this background, French specialist fashion retailers have seen conditions worsen due to the ongoing expansion of fast fashion chains, such as Zara and H&M, the growth of online players, such as Amazon, Zalando and ASOS, and the squeeze on prices. The specialists saw their combined sales decline by1.8% in 2016, although some retailers are doing well, including the largest chain, Kiabi. Domestic retailers that have failed to adapt to changes in the market are struggling – sales and profits are falling at many businesses and some are being forced into drastic restructuring.