UK fashion industry statistics

General data

Population: 65.12 million
Labor force: 33.0 million
Unemployment rate: 4.8%
GDP per capita (PPS): 46,297 dollars

Employment in fashion-related industries: 555,000
Retail sale of clothing: 414,000
Retail sale of footwear and leather goods: 59,000
Wholesale of clothing and footwear: 43,000
Manufacture of wearing apparel: 34,000
Manufacture of footwear: 5,000


Currently around 555,000 people are employed in fashion, textiles and fashion retail in the United Kingdom. Most jobs in fashion related industries are in the retail sale of clothing. This sub industry employs 75 percent with 414,000 people working in the retail sale of clothing. Also the retail sale of footwear and leather goods provides a fair amount of jobs in fashion, about 11 percent, 59,000, employers work within this sector. Another 8 percent, 43,000 employers, work in the wholesale of clothing and footwear. With respectively 34,000 en 5,000 positions, 6 percent and 1 percent, the least amount of jobs are in the manufacturing of wearing apparel and the manufacturing of footwear.

Fashion companies

Top companies based on market capitalization

1.Burberry: 10 billion dollar
2.Next Plc: 7.16 Billion
3. Mark & Spencer: 6.18 billion dollar
4. ASOS: 6.18 billion dollar

The biggest company in the UK based on its market capitalization is the Burberry Group plc. The luxury fashion company is valued over 10 billion dollar and had revenue of 3.8 billion dollar in 2017. Burberry sells its products through retail and wholesale channel, retail sales accounted for 77% of revenue compared to 22% from wholesale.

Fast-fashion retailer Next Plc is the second largest fashion company in the United Kingdom, based on its market value of 7.16 billion pounds. Next is mostly active in retail market in the UK, where it makes most of its 4.0 billion pound of annual sales. Only a small part, 2 percent, of Next’s’ revenue comes from international retail.

Retail giant Marks & Spencer is number 3 in the Top 10 largest fashion companies in the UK. It is currently valued over 7 billion pounds and has annual sales of 10.3 billion pounds. Whereas its UK food division is ever expanding, Marks and Spencer’s fashion and UK general merchandise sales have been declining in the past years.The UK still accounts for 89 percent of the total sales, although its international presence is increasing, especially in food. Because of the declining fashion and general merchandise sale Marks and Spencer is facing a continuous downfall in market value.

With a market value of 6.2 billion dollar ASOS is fourth largest company in the UK and has annual sales of 1.8 billion pounds. The online fashion store sells over 850 brands as well as its own range of clothing and accessories. International retail sales for ASOS accounted for almost 63% of total retail sales.

Consumer expenditure

In million GBP

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In percentage

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Imports & Exports

Exports of clothing: 9.2 billion USD

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Women’s suits, not knit: 1.24 billion dollars, 11 percent
Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts, etc.: 697 million dollars, 6 percent
T-shirts: 622 million dollars, 5.6 percent
Men’s suits, not knit: 580 million dollars, 5.2 percent
Used clothes and textiles: 452 million dollars, 4 percent
Women’s Suits: 449 million dollars, 4 percent
Women’s overcoats, not knit: 356 million dollars, 3.2 percent

Exports of footwear and headwear: 2.18 billion USD

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Footwear, with leather body: 1.03 billion dollars, 47 percent
Footwear, with textile body: 431 million dollars, 19.8 percent
Other footwear of rubber or plastics: 370 million dollars, 16.9 percent
Other headgear: 98.2 million dollars, 4.5 percent
Other footwear: 70.2 million dollars, 3.2 percent

Imports of clothing: 34.4 billion USD

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Women’s Suits, not knit: 4.13 billion dollars, 12 percent
Men’s suits, not knit: 2.59 billion dollars, 8 percent
Sweaters, pullover, sweatshirts, etc.: 3.18 billion dollars, 9 percent
T-Shirts: 2.54 billion dollars, 7 percent
Women’s suits: 2.06 billion dollars, 6 percent
Women’s overcoats, not knit: 945 million dollars, 3 percent
Panty hose, tights, stockings, socks and other hosiery: 839 million dollars, 2 percent

Imports of footwear and headwear: 8.16 billion USD

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Footwear, with leather body: 3.57 billion dollars, 44 percent
Footwear, with textile body: 1.74 billion dollars, 21 percent
Other footwear of rubber or plastics: 1.69 billion dollars, 21 percent
Other footwear: 216 million dollars, 2.6 percent