Germany: clothing industry predicts 2.7% gain
The German economy is still imagined as the perfect portrait of an SME, and a family portrait at that. Despite recent crises, the picture still holds true in Düsseldorf, where heavyweights of mid-range brands like Ahlers, Olymp, Gerry Weber, Seidensticker, Digel or Gardeur show their collections in spacious showrooms. And now, the “German Fashion” clothing federation has announced some preliminary figures from the past year. The national clothing industry brought in 12 billion euros in annual sales and companies on average recorded increases of 2%. "Still, 2012 hurt the industry. We thought that 2011 was bad enough. In my view, the industry is in a slight recession and it did not anticipate this," said an employee at Stone. Known for the strength of its exports, the German textile industry especially felt the crisis in Europe. The branch makes 40% of its total sales outside its borders, and in fact saw its exports decline by 1.6% from January to November 2012. The results provided by the Federal Statistical Office set the tone for the first half year.
Exports to Poland, Spain, Greece and Portugal dropped by 23%, 18.5%, 18% and more than 17% respectively. Even exports to Austria or Belgium were down more than 6% and 4%. However, the Russian market did indeed regain its footing. In the first six months, sales to the world's largest country jumped 13%. Exports to France were also up but only by a mere 2%. "In Russia, we reached the low point in 2009. In 2012, we made six to seven million euros in sales, or as much as in 2008," said Jochen Digel, owner of the company of the same name. He even talks about preorders for Russia being up 30% and 10% in Germany. For Gerd Oliver Seidensticker, the president of German Fashion, 2013 is looking to be a positive year. According to the Federation, companies should see their business grow by 2.7%
This Friday New York passes the baton to London for its 2013-2014 autumn-winter collections. It looks to be a splendid season open to retailers and international talent, especially from France.
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