West Hollywood, CA—Despite less expensive alternatives readily available, fur business continues to grow.
At least that’s the report from the International Fur Federation (IFF) which commissioned Price Waterhouse Cooper to conduct an independent study of the industry for 2012-13.
The research is the first to analyze the fur sector, looking beyond retail sales at traditional fur stores to also include department stores, designer boutiques, accessories stores and sporting goods stores. According to the study, global fur retail sales are estimated at $35.8 billion, farming is valued at $7.8 billion and total employment in the fur industry is more than one million.
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Fur sales have increased in North America, too. According to the Fur Information Council of America and the Fur Council of Canada, sales by traditional retail fur stores in North America were $1.7 billion in 2013, a 10% increase over 2012.
If fur trim and accessories sales through fashion boutiques, ski/sporting goods boutiques, luxury shoe stores and department stores are factored according to the Price Waterhouse methodology, total fur sales in North America are estimated exceeded $4 billion in 2013.
“This study demonstrates the unquestionable value the fur trade brings to the global economy,” stated Mark Oaten, chief executive at IFF. “It is easy to get caught up in the emotions the business can generate, but the truth is that the fur trade is a global economic cornerstone.”
The IFF reports that fur was used in more than 70% of the Fall/Winter 2014 designer collections, too.
While the IFF is launching a global advertising campaign to support the fur industry and its economic role, the notoriety is sure to arouse those opposed to fur sales especially for humane reasons.
“What price can you put on foxes anally electrocuted, pets and hunting dogs accidentally killed in fur traps, and raccoon dogs skinned alive—all for an unnecessary product?” said Pierre Grzybowski, research and enforcement manager of The Humane Society of the United States’ Fur- Free Campaign. “Regardless of what the actual value of this unnecessary industry is, I have to wonder what percentage is from real fur being sold as ‘faux’ to unsuspecting consumers–like we find every year at major retailers.”