Global Market Size - School Uniforms

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Global Market Size - School Uniforms

While the size of the global school uniform market is not readily available in the public domain, we triangulate that it is around USD 14 billion. Below, we explain how we arrived at this answer.

METHODOLOGY

To determine if the desired information is readily available in the public domain, we checked if market research firms have released reports on the global school uniform market. Several market research firms have done so, but unfortunately, the full versions of their respective reports are behind paywalls and their report summaries do not offer any quantitative information. In the past 24 months, several market research firms, including HTF Market Intelligence, Market N Reports, Absolute Reports, 360 Research Reports, Pioneer Reports, Advance Market Analytics, and QY Research, have published a report on the global market for school uniforms. While the descriptions of these reports do not provide any hard data, they all indicate how the school uniform market is segmented. By product, the market is segmented into dress, suits, shoes, and others, and by application, the market is segmented into primary school, middle/senior high school, college, public service, and others. The reason behind public service's inclusion as a school uniform application is not clear to us, but we assume there are schools intended for public service workers.

As the market size typically corresponds to the revenue generated by the market, we proceeded to check if the sales or revenue of the global school uniform market is publicly available. It does not appear to be available in the public domain, however, because all we were able to find among sources published in the past 24 months were two articles showing the size of the school uniform market in a specific country. The first one was an article by multi-awarded information site ThoughtCo., which states that "the school uniform business is now worth USD 1.3 billion a year." The contents of the article suggest, however, that the amount pertains to the size of the United States market only. The second one was an article stating that parents in the United Kingdom spend a total of around GBP 2.1 billion (or USD 2.7 billion) on school uniforms each year.

Thinking that the revenue and market share of any player in the global school uniform market could give us the desired market size, we then looked at the companies the aforementioned market research firms have listed as key players in their reports. The aforementioned market research firms all indicate that OASIS, Lands End, Dress Code Sweaters, Modest Apparel, Schooluniforms.com, Dapper Snappers Belts, Flynn, Perry Uniform, Michael's School Uniforms, The School Outfit, RIMAS, Luming Uniform, Elder Manufacturing Company, Fraylich School Uniforms, Louis Long, Ivyclub, LT Apparel Group, Boruang, Skoolooks, and Smart F&D are key players in the global school uniform market, so we checked if there is at least one company that has disclosed both their school uniform revenue and school uniform market share. We were unable to find any, unfortunately, and we found that most of the listed companies offer other products apart from school uniforms. For example, OASIS, the first key player listed, offers office uniforms and other types of uniforms apart from school uniforms.

As our last resort, we conducted an image search and looked for charts depicting the global school uniform market. This step led us to a bar chart showing the number of school uniforms sold worldwide by application. While the actual figures are not displayed, they could be estimated visually. As can be seen below, we used these estimated figures and the average uniform price per student per year in triangulating the global market size. The resulting market size appears too low, however, considering what has been reported as the sizes of the United States and United Kingdom markets, so we tried another approach, one that uses the size of the United States and United Kingdom school uniform markets and the concept of ratio and proportion.

APPROACH 1: UNITS SOLD X PRICE PER UNIT

A press release announcing HTF Market Intelligence's publication of its report on the global school uniform market has a bar chart showing the number of school consumption units worldwide. Though the actual figures are not displayed, they can be visually estimated as follows:

2017
Primary School: ~29,000
Middle/Senior High School: ~33,000
College: ~28,000
Public Service: ~42,000
Others: ~49,000
Total: ~181,000

2022
Primary School: ~22,000
Middle/Senior High School: ~42,000
College: ~18,000
Public Service: ~20,000
Others: ~48,000
Total: ~150,000

We think the numbers are too low, but no further details about these volume sales were provided in the press release apart from the information that the consumption units are in thousands. It is not clear as well if a consumption unit pertains to a student or to a single set of school uniform. If we assume a consumption unit corresponds to a student and multiply the number of consumption units by the United States school uniform price per student per year of USD 249, we can triangulate the global school uniform market size in 2017 to be USD 45.069 million. If we assume a consumption unit corresponds to a single set of uniform, then the size will be lower.

181,000 x USD 249 = USD 45.069 million

If we take into account what was reported in the ThoughtCo article, that the United States school uniform market is worth USD 1.3 billion, then this computed size is not realistic and is too low. We note, however, that the reports of HTF Market Intelligence, Market N Reports, Absolute Reports, 360 Research Reports, and QY Research all suggest that the size of the global school uniform market is in millions, not billions. We tried to think of possible reasons the size is this amount, but all we could think of is that not all students use new uniforms each year, not all schools require students to wear uniforms, and the cost of a uniform varies depending on the school and the country.

APPROACH 2: RATIO AND PROPORTION

Considering that the size of the school uniform market is USD 1.3 billion in the United States and USD 2.7 billion in the United Kingdom, we thought of ways to compare the two markets to the rest of the world. We initially thought of population, but we realized that population may not be a good metric to use given that countries with the highest populations are not necessarily the countries with the largest school uniform markets. The best figure we thought we could use is the gross domestic product or GDP as it is directly associated with the size of the economy. It is likely that the largest economies have the largest school uniform markets as well.

Given that the United States and the United Kingdom, which have GDP's of USD 21.5 trillion and USD 2.8 trillion, respectively, have school uniform markets worth USD 1.3 billion and USD 2.7 billion, respectively, and the world has a GDP of USD 88 trillion, we estimate, by ratio and proportion, that the global school uniform market is around USD 14 billion.

USD 21.5 trillion + USD 2.8 trillion = USD 24.3 trillion
USD 1.3 billion + USD 2.7 billion = USD 4 billion

(USD 4 billion / USD 24.3 trillion) = (x / USD 88 trillion)
x = USD 14 billion

Even though the United Kingdom's school uniform market is bigger than that of the United States, this resulting global market size is more realistic than what was computed using the HTF Market Intelligence report.
Sources
Sources

Quotes
  • "Parents spend around £2.1 billion on school uniform a year in the UK alone."
Quotes
  • "The school uniform business is now worth $1.3 billion a year, and parents pay an average of $249 a year to outfit one child in a uniform."
Quotes
  • "Oasis Uniform is the treasured hub of all employers or company owners operating in different industries in search of a wholesale uniform supplier. We are a leading manufacturer, distributor and exporter of uniforms, safety accessories, equipments and custom uniforms worldwide. Oasis Uniform is in network with the top industries starting from law, safety to the retail sector of a wide variety of businesses."