The last quarter of the year finally shows some positive results for the Belgian Fashion market: three months of growth, leading to a nice +3,7% value growth. This means a turnover increase of almost 29 million € in our Leaderpanel. After nine consecutive months of declining sales, this is definitely an important change in trend!
We notice an overall strong performance in Outerwear for Women, Men and Kids (+4,8% combined). Also Underwear & Legwear (+2,0%) and Shoes for Women (+3,4%) and Kids (+5,4%) are contributing to this growth. However, not all Shoes categories are following the same trend: Men Shoes are declining (-4,7%), and especially Sport Shoes sales have seen a significant drop (-16,7%). This category has lost a lot of momentum since the second half of 2016.
Personal Accessories shows a nice growth (+3,5%). After all, these are ideal gifts during the holiday season: Q4 represents more than one third of total annual sales in this category.
However, we do need to remark the bad performance of Q4 in 2015 (mainly due to the weather conditions), so we are not talking about growth on growth but a recuperation of losses. And most importantly: one good quarter is not enough to turn the tide of a very bad year. With an overall decline of -3,2%, this is one of the worst years in Fashion since quite some time. We see a downward trend in all categories, except for one: Sport Shoes (+4,5%). The biggest losses in sales value are reported in Outerwear for Women (-2,7%, minus 27 million €) and Kids (-3,8%, minus 17 million €).
Wim Boesmans – Head of POS Measurement