Jordan’s clothing sector has suffered a major drop in purchasing power, exports and imports. Seasonal sales and offers are not helping traders recover from the financial crisis. Sales have fallen on an average 40 per cent in markets such as Jabal Al Hussein, 50 per cent in malls and 60 per cent in the governorates.
The kingdom’s imports of garments dropped by 16 per cent in the first nine months of 2016 compared to the same period of 2015. The average shopper bought four pieces of clothing in 2016 compared with five in 2015. Taxes, customs duties, high rents, random licensing for shops and the absence of laws regulating sales and offers in the market are blamed for the sector’s losses.
Around 15 to 20 per cent of garment traders are expected to leave the market. Garment exports make up roughly 20 per cent of the country's gross domestic product. In the arid outskirts of Jordan’s cities sit a growing number of industrial parks that house garment factories churning out clothing for some of the world’s most recognisable brands like Gap, Victoria’s Secret, Hanes, Eddie Bauer, Lands’ End and Macy’s.
There are currently 75 factories producing everything from towels to T-shirts, fleeces to frilly knickers. They account for 95 per cent of the industrial workforce, and 95 per cent of apparel exports.