Dutch fashion store sales slow in Q1, sneakers and jeans stay popular

Dutch fashion and footwear retailers saw a slow start to the sales year in Q1 with clothing/accessories sales down 1.6% and footwear down 4.8% year-on-year, according to research by Gfk commissioned by trade association INretail.


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Small and medium-sized fashion retailers saw sales falling by 2.6% year-on-year, while small and mid-sized footwear stores suffered an even worse 9% drop. Meanwhile, larger fashion chains on average saw sales down 1.4%, while larger footwear chains dropped by 4.4%.

Looking at all physical store retailers regardless of size, sales for fashion retailers declined by 5.5%, while footwear retailers saw a drop of 10.1% in their brick-and-mortar shops. But online sales for fashion retailers were much more buoyant and increased by 11.5% in the first quarter, even though footwear retailers saw an increase of only 5.4% via online channels. 

One pocket of strength was sneakers and jeans, which remained popular among Dutch consumers. Sales of sneakers rose 4.3% in Q1, while the jeans sector saw a 1.8% uplift.

According to Edwin Belt, sector manager fashion at INretail, the growth in sneaker and jeans sales is due to the ongoing casualwear trend and he said that “casual clothing, in combination with a blazer jacket, has become popular, even at the offices at Amsterdam’s Zuidas [the city’s business district].”

Overall though, INretail suggests that the slow start to fashion and footwear sales during Q1 was a result of the long winter in the Netherlands. Due to the weather, Dutch consumers postponed their spring collection purchases, an effect that was seen in many other countries in Northern and Western Europe. 

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