The German fashion market is one of the leading features of consumer life in Europe's largest economy. While the interest and the sheer necessity of buying clothes, shoes, and accessories remain, consumer approaches to buying fashion continue to change. The growing public consciousness of the impact the fashion industry as a whole, in particular mass production of cheaper apparel, has on the environment influences consumer demand for transparent information before a purchase decision may be made.

This is reflected in timelines of spending on clothes and shoes in Germany. Figures fluctuated during the last decade, with highs and lows recorded, but took a very deep plunge indeed in 2020. This was most likely due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions: most retail locations were closed, therefore rendering fashion purchases possible only via online channels for months on end. In 2021, trousers and sweaters were especially popular womenswear items . Based on these figures, women tended to buy certain items more than men. That same year, in menswear, trousers and dress shirts were the revenue winners. Forecasts for online apparel shopping in Germany predict rising revenue figures in the 2020s.

Fashion e-commerce is another massive development in the German fashion market, influencing how consumers choose and shop, as well as putting a question mark over the future of brick and mortar stores. According to a survey conducted in 2021, millennials aged 24 to 44 years old were especially interested in apparel shops offering a click and collect service , as well as return options. Click and collect combines both the online and the physical options, with an order placed on the shops website by the consumer, to be collected in a local shop on site. Based on another survey conducted that same year, Gen Z consumers showed the highest level of interest in permanently switching to buying apparel online , though as of yet, there was no majority. Fashion retail in Germany is currently looking at combining both offline and online shopping experiences to keep consumers on a long-term basis.


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