Milan Fashion Week is starting today and the event will be mostly staged virtually due to the Corona crisis. It’s time to see how the pandemic has affected the Italian fashion industry in general over the past year. The latest statistics from data specialist BoldData show that the number of fashion stores in Italy has decreased by 4% in 2020. 10,967 stores closed their doors and only 3,716 new stores tried their luck. Especially specialized stores were hit hard.
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Italy is the place to be for fashion lovers. However, the country has seen a decline in fashion stores over the past 4 years. Since 2017 the number of physical stores has declined by 8%: from 194,876 to 178,565 stores. 2020 was an especially tough year for fashion retailers, with a decline of 4%. Last year 10,697 shops filed for bankruptcy or closed their doors. And only 3,716 new fashion stores opened their doors. This is a decline of 39% compared to 2019: when 5,158 new shops opened. Fashion capital Milan also reports a 9% decline in fashion stores since 2017: from 9,613 to 8,245 stores.
diminishingly Dramatic decrease in specialized stores
When we take an in-depth look, we see a dramatic decrease in Italian stores specialized in either men’s or women’s clothing. Men’s clothing stores decreased by a staggering 57% since 2017. While stores specialized in women’s clothing decreased by 46% over the past 4 years. Stores that offer clothes for the entire family (often large fashion chains) don’t seem to be impacted: the number stayed more or less the same over the past years, with 117,106 stores in the end of 2020.
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What about worldwide trends in fashion retail? Since 2017 the number of fashion stores worldwide has increased by 25%. Especially South America grew rapidly by 43%. Europe is also doing well with 323,214 new fashion stores: an increase of 33%. Only Italy continues to show a downward trend. However, the country will most likely remain in fashion with a number of 178,656 fashion stores. This is still almost twice the number of fashion stores in Germany (109,906) and France (103,810).