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The fashion sector: a business opportunity for Latin American industrialists

The fashion sector: a business opportunity for Latin American industrialists

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One of the industries that has best adapted to the new dynamics of global online shopping is fashion, an opportunity for Latin American entrepreneurs who want to enter a market of almost 333 million people.

In this post we explore the industrial sector of fashion in the world, what have been the consequences of the pandemic in this industry and why the United States is one of the most attractive countries to invest in this sector.

The first thing is to analyze worldwide which are the most valuable fashion brands in the world. According to Statista worth approximately $33.2 billion, Nike, the American fashion and accessories brand, is the most valuable in the world in 2022, followed by Louis Vuitton, valued at $23.423 million, Gucci $18.11 billion, Chanel $15.26 billion and Adidas USD $14,636 million and the list goes on.

It is important to understand that this is a sector that generates billions of dollars a year, according to ICEX, not more than in 2019, the United States invoiced 370.4 billion dollars, 2% more than the previous year. Of this figure, 21% corresponded to footwear, and 79% to clothing.

The curious thing about this industry in the American giant is that, by 2019, the United States imported more clothing and footwear from third countries than it sells in international markets. In that year, the provisional import figure was approximately USD $116.7 billion, compared to the 6.8 billion dollars that it exported abroad.

This balance in favor of imports makes this country attractive for Latin American industrialists who want to venture into this industry, among other things, because American households spend 3% of their annual budget spending on fashion, and prefer to buy products made in United States, especially when it comes to clothing, says the report of ICEX.

According to figures from the report, the main centers of distribution and sale of products are in Los Angeles and New York: “New York City is another of the fashion capitals of the country and the world. In addition, the mid-Atlantic region also has a large population, and this makes it a very attractive area for distributors."

Now, let's see how manufacturing affects this sector. Here are some relevant data to, later, understand which are the States in North America where more is manufactured in workshops and industries.

  • The total number of employees in the manufacturing sector in 2020 was 11.4 million.
  • The total cost of materials in that same year was 2.8 billion dollars.
  • The total value of the industry was 5.2 billion dollars.
  • The total annual payroll payment in this sector was 693.2 billion dollars.

Source: Data collected from the US Census Bureau

And, which are the States that generate the most income in the manufacturing sector in the United States?

Annual Survey of Manufacturers in 2020. Total manufacturing value of the Shipping industry, main states of the USA

Now, another important point that has sparked many discussions around the world is how the crisis caused by the pandemic has transformed this industry. Well, we see that, instead of being affected, revenues have increased but on online platforms. According to Statista, “online fashion has experienced continuous growth in recent years that has only strengthened during 2020 due to the restrictions derived from the pandemic. Thus, revenue from clothing, footwear and accessories purchased through the Internet worldwide stood at around 758.3 billion dollars at the end of 2020.

This increase, says the portal, is not expected to stop and it is estimated that by 2025 it will reach approximately 1.2 trillion dollars in income.

A business opportunity that is presented for Latin American industrialists. A study of EAE Business School points out that Mexico City is the Latin American city with the highest investment in fashion, with a figure that amounted to USD $426 million, closely followed by Bogotá with US $260 million in 2020.

In Colombia, about 6,500 companies in the textile and fashion industry generate, on average, one million direct and indirect jobs.

Internationalizing your business in the United States and taking advantage of the boom in online sales will make your business scalable, not only in this sector, but in industries such as Real Estate, IT and the Marketing industry. We wrote a blog about this last industry: This is everything you need to know about digital services in the United States.

Diego Prieto
Press Officer

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