Dutch clothing and shoe store turnover was well above expectations in 2017 with sales rising 5% and 8% respectively – the highest growth in 10 years.
The sector organisation INretail had forecast an increase of only 2% in 2017, a figure it is maintaining for the current year.
‘The results are good but we have not yet reached the sales level seen before the 2008 crisis, INretail’s Edwin Belt said in a statement. The INretail figures cover both physical and online shops.
Mens’ clothing outperformed the rest of the sector with a sales increase of more than 7% last year. This, Belt said, is because men are now buying more of their own clothes. ‘And they spend more than women who are buying clothes for their partner,’ he said.
It is a different story with shoes where women account for the biggest growth. Sales of womens’ shoes were 9% higher, while there was only a 5% increase in the sales of mens’ shoes.
The sales increases in the fashion sector came largely from online shops, which were up 25% year on year. But high street shops are also selling more clothing.
‘Online sales will continue to rise, but sales of 80% of clothing and shoes still takes place in bricks-and-mortar stores,’ Belt said. ‘It’s important that shopping retains its pleasant social character.’