During 2014, exports of menswear from Italy to the UK increased by 8.4% to reach €495m (£354m.)
According to statistics from Sistema Moda Italia, the official Italian industry body, the UK is Italy’s fifth most-valuable market after France (worth €655m/£468m) and Switzerland (€598m/£427m), which are primarily through financial transactions rather than ‘pure’ exports, and then the US (€570m/£407m) and Germany (€528m/£377m).
British imports to Italy increased by 24.1% to reach €93m (£66m), making the UK the fifth Western Europe supplier after France (€244m/£174m), Germany (€165m/£118m), the Netherlands (€158m/£113m) and Belgium (€145/£103m). But China (€982m/£703m) and Bangladesh (€492/£352m) are the major suppliers, with Romania (€347/£248m), Tunisia (€319/£228m) and Turkey (€203/£145m) the near-shore leaders.
In the Italian domestic market, menswear sales continued to fall, dropping -3.6% across 2014, although this was slower than in recent years. In an interesting development, sales through chain stores rose to 32.6%, for the first time exceeding sales through independents, which now stands at 31.2%. In 2014, the majors’ share grew by 7% while the indies lost 10.9%. In Italy ecommerce accounts for only 3.8% of total menswear sales, but it rose by 25.7% in 2014.