Textile Sector Analysis & Report

No good news for developed markets


HIGH RISK for entreprises

  • Fragmentation

  • Internationalization

  • Capital Intensity

  • Profitability

  • Strong long-term demand potential as clothing consumption in emerging markets is likely to take a greater share of household spend
  • Global rebound in the luxury goods segment after a plateau period
  • Decreasing length of fashion cycles giving rise to sustainability issues
  • Oversaturation of the retail space in the context of digitalization

What to Watch?

  • Entrance of new players (Amazon’s Prime Wardrobe, new direct-to-consumer brands)
  • Rising investment costs required to mitigate sustainability impact of the fast-fashion business

Among the largest textile markets there are two major groups. On the one side, the developed countries demonstrate slow or negative sales growth. This trend translates into the top-line challenges even for the largest apparel manufacturers. For example, H&M group has recently announced a -2% decline in sales over the fiscal year 2017 revealing plans to close a record number of stores in 2018, with most of them located in the developed markets. On the other side, the emerging markets represent the biggest long-term growth opportunities and despite the fact that the size of some emerging markets, such as China and India, already surpasses that of some matured markets there is still plenty of room for growth considering their current per capita spending and the rise of the middle class. 

The two most important challenges faced by the industry are both related to technologies. One is developing an online sales channel to offset the declining sales in physical stores and failure to do so may have serious consequences as suggested by an impressive number of insolvent clothing retailers in the US in 2017, which partly explains our “sensible” risk stance in this country. Another one is investing in automatization technologies helping to improve margins in the context of ever increasing labor cost in countries traditionally considered low-cost. On top of that Amazon’s first investments in the fashion industry were made last year and more moves in this direction can be expected in 2018 adding to the list of worries for companies targeting low to middle income consumers.

Apparel:  3-D printed clothes still belong mostly to art galleries and are years ahead from the mass market 

Materials:  Cotton price rose 12% on average in 2017

Key players

Country Role Sector risk

#1 producer

#1 exporter


Medium risk


#3 producer

#3 exporter


Medium risk


#2 producer

#4 exporter


Medium risk

Let's Get In Touch

Contact Us


These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.


This material is published by Euler Hermes SA, a Company of Allianz, for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by Euler Hermes and Euler Hermes makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of the Euler Hermes Economics Department, as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Euler Hermes SA is authorised and regulated by the Financial Markets Authority of France. 


© Copyright 2017 Euler Hermes. All rights reserved.