Traditionally, Arab tourists and Lebanese expatriates drove robust retail apparel sales in Lebanon. Lebanon’s economic crisis and global travel restrictions imposed as a result of the spread of COVID-19 discouraged tourists from traveling to Lebanon in 2020. However, the government has lifted most COVID-19 movement restrictions as of July 2021, and additional tourists are traveling to the country. Experts predict sales in apparel to regain historical averages in the coming few years.
According to Lebanese Customs statistics, U.S. apparel exports to Lebanon reached $5 million in 2021, compared to $2 million in 2020, constituting around 1.5 percent of total apparel imports to Lebanon. A range of U.S. brands are still available in the Lebanese market, including GAP, Gymboree, Juicy Couture, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Nautica, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Rock and Republic, 7 for All Mankind, Steve Madden, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, True Religion and Under Armour.
Table 1: Apparel Chart
|Total Local Production||$50 million||$50 million||$50 million||$50 million|
|Total Exports||$25 million||$46 million||$45 million||$45 million|
|Total Imports||$143 million||$336 million||$330 million||$330 million|
|Imports from the US||$2 million||$5 million||$5 million||$5 million|
|Total Market Size||$168 million||$340 million||$335 million||$335 million|
(Total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)
Units: $ U.S. Dollars, LBP Lebanese Pounds
Source: Lebanese Customs statistics – Section 11
Demand for casual wear in Lebanon remains high. Consequently, there is demand for U.S. apparel, as many Lebanese consider U.S. brands to be the leader in casual wear, according to industry experts.
Lebanese buyers traveled to the Magic Apparel Show in Las Vegas and the Coterie Show in New York to explore the latest trends in the U.S. fashion industry.
The U.S. Commercial Service provides a wide range of services, including Gold Key Service (GKS) and International Partner Search (IPS), which help U.S. companies explore opportunities in Lebanon. Moreover, the U.S. Commercial Service organizes events and exhibitions, including “Taste of America,” to promote U.S. products and services in Lebanon.
Lebanese Customs Administration (http://www.customs.gov.lb/home.aspx)
Contact for the Commercial Section that covers the apparel sector: Naaman Tayyar, Head of Commercial Section, Email: Naaman.Tayyar@trade.gov.