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UK among biggest spenders on clothes

Only Italians pay more for fashion


A bundle of clothes.

UK shoppers have the second highest annual spend on clothes in Europe at an average £556 each, a report out today says.

That amount eclipses the annual per-capita spend across all EU member states which is £430, according to market analysts Verdict.

While the Italians remain Europe’s biggest spenders on clothes, the UK is catching up.

Splashing out

Italians splashed out an average £602 each during 2006 – down from £622 five years earlier.

By contrast, UK shoppers ramped up their outlay from £518 to £556 per person over the same period.

The UK, Italy, Germany, France, Spain and the Netherlands together account for £4 of every £5 spent on clothing in the EU, Verdict’s European Clothing Retailers report says.

But spending across these six countries collectively rose by just 3.9 per cent in the five years to 2006.

By contrast, the new EU member states are experiencing a fashion spending boom.

Clothing boom

Estonia saw its average annual per person spend almost double from £106 in 2001 to £209 last year.

Clothing sales across the 10 new EU member states jumped by more than a fifth, to £7.7 billion over the same period.

Describing the virtually flat spending pattern across Europe, a Verdict spokesman said: ‘The EU’s population is finding more attractive alternatives to spend its hard-earned cash on than clothing, and competition between the various clothing retailers of Europe is intensifying.’

The report names Inditex the EU’s biggest clothing retailer followed by H&M and then Marks & Spencer.

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