This month’s Fashion Friday podcast series by Euromonitor International explores how casualisation, sustainability and digitalisation has impacted the apparel industry in Latin America. As consumers focused on maximising their budgets and cut unnecessary expenses, the apparel and footwear market declined by 30% in constant fixed prices at a regional level.
Due to the effects of the pandemic, consumers are increasing their interest in brands that offer a combination of technical, stretch and street attributes for a more relaxed look. Prolonged confinements diminished social occasions and the accelerated adoption of work from home is promoting the transition towards a more 'carefree' appearance of daily life.
The impact of COVID-19 raised awareness about the environmental consequences that consumption habits have on the planet. Companies that demonstrate purpose-driven solutions and sustainable commitments as part of the core business are increasing to remain relevant. Important regional retailers, like Cencosud in Chile and Grupo Éxito in Colombia, are addressing sustainable concerns by offering consumers to receive their old clothes in exchange for vouchers or including second-hand brands and small entrepreneurs in their marketplaces.
Apparel and footwear players were forced to accelerate digitalisation to remain competitive. According to Euromonitor International, the apparel and footwear industry sales through e-commerce increased 126% in 2020. Although consumers' preferred mode of shopping remains in-person to purchase apparel and personal accessories products in 2021, online options like phone and computer purchases keep gaining ground in Latin American with 42% and 36%, respectively according to Euromonitor’s digital consumer survey.
Online shopping is here to stay as consumers have noticed and increasingly value the convenience and security of online services as a consequence of the pandemic. Latin American digital wallets like Fpay, Mercado Pago and Tpaga, will help expand the online opportunities to the unbanked population and increase consumers' brand loyalty.
Written and created for FashionUnited by Euromonitor. More podcasts and information from Euromonitor can be found on the Euromonitor website.