Sales of the textile trade plummet and 17,000 stores close

The textile sector is not raising its head.

Sales of the textile trade plummet and 17,000 stores close

The textile sector is not raising its head. In the last two years it has lost 57% of sales and is in a "very complicated" situation. The report of the employers' association Acotex presented this Thursday reveals that the turnover of the sector in 2021 amounted to 8,900 million euros, which represents a decrease of 16% compared to the previous year, in the midst of the pandemic. That year, sales had already sunk 41% compared to 2019, when the sector had a turnover of 18.1 billion euros.

Eduardo Zamácola, president of Acotex, is not optimistic about the recovery of the sector: «Predicting when we will reach pre-pandemic figures is almost impossible, nobody expected the war in Ukraine to come, there would be so many supply problems in Southeast Asia due to the covid nor that inflation reached these levels ». Zamácola explains that to reach pre-pandemic figures, twice what is being sold now would have to be sold, so recovering that level in the short term is "absolutely unfeasible, there are years left for it."

And the lack of income has directly affected the network of establishments and employment. The report reveals that there are currently 44,672 textile stores in Spain, 17,200 fewer than there were in 2019. As a result of all these closures, the number of workers in the sector has decreased by 5% in the last year. Today 163,846 people work in the sector, 35,200 fewer than in 2019.

And it is that Spanish families spent an average of 786 euros on clothes last year, 117 euros less than in 2020 and well below the 1,256 euros that were spent on average in 2019. Those who spent the most on clothes are consumers of Basque Country, Madrid and Castilla y León. The least, those of the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and Extremadura.

Internet sales continue to be well above the figures recorded before the pandemic, already representing 15.5% of total turnover, when in 2020 it was only 8%. However, it does not reach the 20% quotas that the year of the pandemic reached, due to the confinement that forced them to make the necessary purchases without leaving home.

"The sector does not have the muscle to endure much longer, it is exhausted," said Zamácola during the presentation of the data, who also acknowledged that "it will be reasonable" to increase retail prices throughout 2022 due to the increase in the costs of raw materials and the logistics chain.

The president of Acotex explains that now for the consumer "clothing purchases are not their priority when it comes to spending" and that can lead to more store closures and that "the streets and neighborhoods become lifeless." He considers that this trend to buy less clothes is settling in, not only due to the pandemic and now the war. “Since 2008 we are much less consumerist in textiles and more cautious, people want to travel and eat well, clothing is no longer a priority”, he concludes.