Germany is a significant consumer of premium apparel and of raw wool (around 60 mkg are consumed in Germany, Austria, Switzerland). A number of international and global retailers and brands operate out of Germany such as P&C, C&A, Kaufhof, Otto Versand as well as Adidas, Puma, Hugo Boss, Marc O'Polo and Marc Cain.
Germany hosts some of the world’s leading apparel trade fairs (such as ISPO, Outdoor, Bread & Butter, Heimtextil, Munich Fabric Start) for sports and urban segments. Potential luxury market size is 79 million consumers.
- The German economy is the 5th largest economy in the world – $USD 3.4 trillion. Taking into account all German-speaking countries (GER/AT/SUI) this adds up to $US4.4 trillion. It is also the second most populous nation (after Russia) – together with Austria and Switzerland with near to 100 million consumers, of which 80% are considered affluent.
- Germany/Austria/Switzerland is the biggest clothing consumption market in Europe with approximately $US125 billion turnover; it is forecast to grow at 0.3% per annum over the next three years.
- Germans continue to evidence strong concerns with ecology - natural, ecological and sustainable products dominate in many sectors – not only apparel but also automotive and sports.
- There is a trend to smart casual and revival of sartorial sensitivities. For men - contemporary classicism; revival of sartorial casual; and brit–chic. For women – a clean wool look as a counter-trend against casual is evident.
- Germany is a sports-oriented society evidenced by the sports market growing strongly. Driven by functionality this sector is not so price sensitive; and sports brands are expanding into fashion given the long-term trend to more relaxed, causal lifestyles .
Opportunity for wool
Given the generational gap in knowledge of wool, there is likely to be a strong positive response to education of young designers at universities and schools as well as with consumers. Automotive brands want to go green – include wool / wool blends in their car seats.
The sports industry is highly attractive, with strong German brands investing into ecological, natural fibres and wool is growing in many collections.
Research has shown strong potential to collaborate with international apparel care brands such as Henkel, Bosch– Siemens and other strong brands to support the Merino story.