MA R K E T O V E R V I E W
The Canadian fashion industry is quite small; 96% of the industry is SME’s, 38% with 1-4 employees and 58% with 5-99. However it is experiencing a revival, mainly because:
• There are few entry barriers
• Little capital investment is needed
• New niches continue to be found and expanded
Domestic production is steadily declining and there is a growing need for imports. Currently, 79% of apparel in Canada is imported. The demand is stable; manufacturing is decreasing while imports are increasing.
O P P O R T U N I T I E S - P R O G R A M S / P R O J E C T S
The industry faces challenges in the coming years leading to an increased need in imports:
• Trade liberalization and the removal of import quotas shocked the industry.
• Low-cost off-shore manufacturers continue to threaten Canadian manufacturing.
• The rise of the Canadian dollar means increasing production costs, reducing Canadian competitiveness further.
• Most companies are facing succession issues as senior managers and production workers are aging. There are almost no sources of supply to train new workers, threatening domestic production levels.
• Shift in the workforce from production to service composition.
• The industry is vertically disintegrating as manufacturers are turning into retailers, etc.
B E S T P R O S P E C T S
Some recent trends that are gaining success in the Canadian market:
• Eco-friendly products
• Online sales and other non-traditional channels (i.e. hotels, spas, etc.)
• Adding new apparel categories and products beyond apparel—affordable private labels
• Niche markets, such as:
o Youth, there is a large market for young and trendy fashions in urban cities because of the concentration of students around universities
o Immigrant fashion needs
o Women’s plus size market, plus-size women have shown that they are willing to spend large amounts on fashionable clothing