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Womenswear to dominate global fashion market in 2018: Survey

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Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based manufacturers, traders and service providers, released the results of its annual CENTRESTAGE Survey recently. In the report, the body has mentioned that the womenswear segment will continue to be the most popular in 2018.

Notably, HKTDC covered over 200 buyers and 70+ exhibitors from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland and other regions in its survey. The purpose of the survey was to figure out an overview of the current market prospects, new product trends and the latest e-tailing developments.

As per the CENTRESTAGE survey, womenswear attracted the highest level of endorsement from both buyers and exhibitors (66% and 82%), with casual wear at the second place (23% and 3%).

In terms of markets, Hong Kong has the greatest 2018 growth potential as seen by nearly 90 per cent of the respondents in their traditional markets followed by South Korea and Taiwan, the report stated.

The fashion brand-promotion survey also hints at a positive sales performance in 2018. 75 per cent of respondents believe that Mainland China would emerge as the most promising emerging market in 2018 before Eastern Europe (43%), followed by the ASEAN countries (43%).

Furthermore, 58% of the buyers expect no change in the retail price of their products in 2018, whereas 39% hope for an increase in retail price. In terms of FOB selling price, 70% of respondents (exhibitors) said there will be no change in 2018, whereas 17 per cent of them predicted a likely increase. Some of them (13%) even expect a decrease in the overall FOB selling price.

While talking about sourcing prices and production costs, those covered (buyers, exhibitors) under the survey had different opinions. 55% of the buyers expect an increase, 44% anticipate no change while just 1% hopes to note a price decline.

HKTDC Survey
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On exhibitor’s front, 21% of them are hopeful of production cost increase, whereas 79% predicted either a decline or no change.

In terms of optimal product development strategies, 47% buyers and exhibitors backed ‘limited edition collections’ as the most significant route for product development in 2018. This was followed by ‘brand-licensing products’ (44%) and ‘crossover/joint promotions’ (37%).

Going Smart will also be most important strategies for buyers this year. Additionally, those who are yet to kick-off their e-commerce operations are likely to begin their online business in 2018, like H&M in India.

Of those companies currently engaged in e-tailing, 58% source from Mainland China, followed by Hong Kong (43%), South Korea (31%), Japan (15%) and the ASEAN countries (14%).