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German and foreign national households: Budget comparison

by Petra Mücke , 30.07.2015

The tailor's apprentice in Gottfried Keller's short story is mistaken for a count because he is so well dressed. After many adventures and entanglements, he ends up with a wife, a workshop and wealth. Today, clothing mainly comes from Asia. It is no longer bought in specialist boutiques, but in discount stores, according to individual desires and means.

Each year, around €44 billion is spent on clothing in Germany. Of this, just under €40.2 billion is accounted for by German households, with other nationalities making up the remaining €3.8 billion, which is more than 9 percent of total spending on textiles. However, foreign national households spend a greater proportion of their non-food budget on textiles than Germans, at around 29 percent and approximately 27 percent, respectively.

In non-German households, annual spending on textiles amounts to just under €1,300 per household, which is €167 more than for their German counterparts. However, when taking the size of the household into account a different picture emerges. German households spend around €550 per person, while households of other nationalities split the total between more members and therefore spend €43 less on each person.

When it comes to individual shopping trips, foreign households spend over €63 on average, which is around €4.50 more than German households. On average, non-German households go shopping for textiles more than 20 times over 12 months, while German households only shop on 19 separate trips in the same period.

While specialist clothing stores are important for Germans when they buy textiles, households of other nationalities tend to spend the majority of their budget in large chain stores.

Non-German households also show an above-average preference for buying clothing at food discount stores: They spend just under €75 on textiles here, versus just €43 for German households. There is no difference between the two groups for the number of times they visit, with both buying textiles at food discount stores around six times per year.

For information on the buying behavior of non-German households, please contact Petra Mücke, petra.muecke@gfk.com.