Emerging Trends in Fashion Retailing
By Dr. Tony Hernandez and Claire Garvey
This report provides an overview of fashion retailing in Canada. The sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in retailing new, ready-to-wear clothing, shoes and accessories (Statistics Canada, 2003). These include, for example, the retail of ready-to-wear clothing for men, women, children, infants and families, along with specialized lines of clothing ranging from raincoats to swimwear.
It is estimated that the Canadian fashion retail market generated sales of approximately $23.1 billion in 2002 - accounting for approximately 10.3 percent of total retail sales (excluding automotive), with almost 7,000 major fashion retail chain stores in operation within the sector. The fashion industry is an important part of the Canadian economy: it encompasses fashion innovation, design, manufacture and the retailing of apparel and accessories. The manufacture of apparel accounts for two percent of Canada's total manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP) and is the tenth largest manufacturing sector in Canada, attracting four percent of manufacturing investment, and accounting for approximately five percent of manufacturing employment (Industry Canada, 2003).