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15 Sep, 2017

25 Fastest-growing Apparel Retailers in Europe

25 Fastest-growing Apparel Retailers in Europe

The fastest-growing major clothing retailer in Europe is German Internet pure play Zalando with average annual growth of nearly 95% from 2010 through 2014 with its mid market positioning, very different from the youth-fashion pitch of ASOS and boohoo.com and expansion into many European markets (15 at the time of writing).

There are five other Internet-only players in the top 10: Showroomprive.com, Net-a-Porter, ASOS, YOOX and vente-privee.com. Acquisitions boosted growth at the store-based retailers Tom Tailor Group (Bonita, 2012), The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (Jane Norman, 2011; Peacocks, 2012) and JD Sports Fashion (Blacks, 2012).

Unsurprisingly, big retailers, like Inditex and H&M, are tending to turn in lower growth. Three budget/off-price retailers have turned in double-digit CAGRs despite their already-substantial scale: Primark, Sports Direct and TK Maxx. These companies have tapped European shoppers' demand for low prices coupled with fashion ability (Primark and TK Maxx) and big-name brands (TK Maxx and Sports Direct).

Europe’s 25 Fastest-Growing Major Apparel Retailers: Ranked by Revenue

Smaller Ones to Watch

Multibrand luxury: US department store Neiman Marcus acquired German luxury pure play mytheresa.com in October 2014, and may invest heavily in it in order to build scale. In 2013 (latest available data), mytheresa.com's revenues were €66 million (US$88 million). The recent merger of YOOX and Net-a-Porter, coupled with the slow progress some luxury brands have made toward selling online, suggests opportunities for multibrand luxury pure plays. Other names to watch in this field include Germany’s Stylebop.com.

Budget fashion online: British fashion retailer boohoo.com remains small compared with the likes of ASOS, posting 2014 revenues of just £140 million (US$228 million). It’s growing strongly, however, and 2014 sales were up 27%, although its CAGR (charted below) trails well behind that of Zalando. Its offering is entirely private-label and very low-price, suggesting it could see some of the success achieved by Primark — but on the Internet, where Primark does not sell.

From footwear to fashion: French pure play Spartoo began as a footwear retailer, but like Zalando, it has expanded into fashion. This expansion should help to pull it ahead of Sarenza, a rival French footwear pure play. Spartoo’s revenues were reported to be €130 million (US$173 million) in 2013, compared with Sarenza’s €150 million (US$199 million).

Off-price opportunities: SECRETSALES.com is a small, UK flash-sales website. In 2014, its revenues were just £25 million (US$41 million), but given the success elsewhere of sites such as vent-privee.com and Showroomprive.com, there looks to be room for SECRETSALES to grow.


  • Off-price is thriving: Europe’s shoppers have flocked to buy branded fashion at prices below regular, in stores that range from TK Maxx to «bargain basement» Sports Direct.
  • While six of the top 10 companies in our ranking are Internet-only retailers, many pure plays are still too small to make the cut.
  • Flash sales have flourished: In a similar vein, flash-sales sites such as vente-privee.com and Showroomprive.com have seen revenues surge. Not included in our ranking above, due to scarcity of reliable time-series data, is Spanish-based flash-sales site Privalia, reported to have seen €422 million (US$543 million) in revenues in 2012 (latest data available).
  • Online demand for luxury: The performance of YOOX and Net-a-Porter (which announced their merger) suggests buoyant demand for high-end fashion in the Internet, despite the fact that some luxury brands are reluctant to offer their full ranges through transactional websites.

Read also: Retail Future, Top 10 Lessons for Retailers, Retail and Consumer Products Trends, How do consumers shop (Part 1, Part 2), Retail and Consumer Products Trends, Five Global Retail Trends 2017, Urban World: The Global Consumers to Watch

Out project: European fashion apparel brand

2018 fashion events: Top Bridal Fashion Shows, Top Specialized Lingerie Trade Shows, A Calendar of Italian Fashion Weeks, Events and Trade Fairs, 2018 Fashion Calendar in UK, The Key Fashion Events in Spain, A Calendar of Fashion Weeks, Events and Trade Fairs in Germany, Nearest Fashion Shows in Paris

Read about M&A: Mandate F. A. Q., DD Check List

Our suggestions: 20 Must-Read Books

More about raising capital: Mezzanine financing, Equity financing, Debt financing, Investopedia: What is Private Equity?, What is The Difference Between Private Equity and Venture Capital?

Company Valuation Methods: Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8

Some strategies of raising capital: Bringing Your Company Public, Exploring Alternative Capital-Raising Strategies, Refinancing and Minority Equity as Partial Exit Strategies, 5 Alternatives To IPOs, How to Raise Capital For a Company in Financial Troubles, 7 Private Equity Strategies, Why Successful Business Owners Sell Out, The Six Types of Successful Acquisitions, Race to Become a Global Player, Refinancing and Minority Equity as Partial Exit Strategies, Guide To Equity Release Or «Cash-Out»

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