This month’s Fashion podcast series by Euromonitor International analyses how the apparel and footwear market will perform during the holidays in light of coronavirus. The apparel and footwear industry is among the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Temporary store closures and decreased discretionary spending during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted retail sales. Also, remote and hybrid options at work and schools as well as cancelled events and social gatherings diminished the need for new clothing, footwear and accessories.
With ongoing uncertainty, Euromonitor International estimates weak demand for these products during this year’s holiday season. As new coronavirus cases rise across the world without certainty of when a vaccine will be available, this year’s holiday shopping trends will be quite different from previous years. In terms of timing, consumers are expected to start holiday shopping earlier than usual, especially in the US. Holiday shopping is the biggest season for brands and retailers, and the busiest shopping days are usually Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Super Saturday and the days right before Christmas.
On the other hand, consumers buying habits changed dramatically, and there has been a significant shift towards e-commerce. With concerns about safety, consumers will continue shopping online to minimise store visits during busy holiday shopping days. According to Euromonitor International’s Voice of the Industry: COVID-19 Survey, fielded in July 2020, 64% of industry professionals anticipate the increase in online shopping to be a permanent change as a result of the pandemic.
Brands and retailers will further incorporate technologies to improve shopping experiences across multiple channels. Some retailers are using livestreaming platforms and virtual shopping appointments to offer in-store personalised experiences online. In China, livestreaming is especially popular, with brands using platforms like Alibaba to drive engagement and sales. Another trend within the apparel and footwear industry is the rise of casual clothing. Loungewear like sweatpants and slippers as well as sportswear have been the preferred clothing choices this year since most consumers are spending a majority of time at home. However, consumers are facing continuous job and economic uncertainties from COVID-19, so they will become more price sensitive and search for products that offer added value.
With in-store shopping remaining restricted, e-commerce will be the primary channel for holiday shopping this season. However, consumers are devoting more time and money to creating a better life at home, as well as caring for friends and family, and their preferred holiday gifts will be different than in past years.
Written and created for FashionUnited by Euromonitor. Explore more fashion-related podcasts by Euromonitor here.
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