New analysis from Australian Wool Innovation shows signs in the bounce back of traditional wool consumption markets of the UK and USA for the 2021 autumn/winter season. This follows sales and import growth in China, South Korea and Japan over recent months.
AWI Chief Executive Stuart McCullough says there is growing optimism from retailers in UK and the US that vaccination has turned around the worst elements of the pandemic.
“The UK’s successful vaccination program and staged easing of restrictions has meant consumers are shopping more freely again. There is strong interest in clothing sales, particularly knitwear as the spring weather in Britain is some of the coldest in two decades.
The UK National Office of Statistics also reports that clothing stores provided the largest positive contribution to the monthly growth in March 2021, with an increase of 17.5% in sales volume.
Non-essential stores in England, and Wales re-opened on the 12th April. Greater freedom of movement and socialising is expected to further increase non-essential retail spend and footfall to high street retail locations.
Social occasions will help to drive renewed demand for apparel, with many younger consumers eager to socialise, releasing pent-up demand for fashion” Mr McCullough added.
The formal market – suiting in particular – is expecting a V curve recovery in sales sparked by occasion wear as Britons will be able to attend more formal events including weddings in coming months.
The United Kingdom is the third largest per capita global consumer of wool and is set to be the next cab off the rank after China and South Korea – followed by the United States, Japan, Scandinavia and Western Europe.
In the United States, there are signs that quality Italian wool apparel, such as women’s coats and next to skin items like baselayer and fine Merino knitwear, has remained resilient throughout the pandemic. And while the US retail sector is now in its Spring/Summer period, there is renewed optimism from the Italian mills for wool orders being secured for the impending 2021 Autumn/Winter season.