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UK lockdown report: What are shoppers buying?

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

17 Nov 2020

Retail

As retailers gear up for record discounting this Black Friday they will want to leverage data to know what shoppers are buying during lockdown.

England is now half way through its second lockdown, but what are shoppers buying online? Has the semi closure of non-essential retail stores shifted normal November shopping behaviour? The LovetheSales.com data team reveals the buying behaviour of 6 million online shoppers, showing the categories with the highest increase in demand for November.

Comfort clothes remain bestsellers

Loungewear demand has surged 122 percent in November so far, compared to November 2019 figures. Brands such as Ugg, Calvin Klein and Nike are doing particularly well in terms of consumer demand. In category items hoodies are up 164 percent, joggers 118 percent and sweatshirts 81 percent. Calvin Klein and Nike saw an increase of 42 percent and 25 percent respectively.

Office attire is not a priority

Foreseeably, demand for smart clothes has waned, dropping -145 percent in November, as people continue working from home. Sales of suits are down -166 percent, belts -150 percent, men’s shirts -130 percent and smart trousers -127 percent.

With Christmas and New Year’s celebrations likely to be limited to small gatherings, party clothing has seen sales fall -99 percent on average. Wrap and body con dresses saw the greatest fall with -115 percent and -99 percent each. Cluth bags fell -61 percent and sales of shoes fell -95 percent.

Stuart McClure, co-founder of LovetheSales.com, commented: “Shoppers have gone back into lockdown mode with their spending habits, choosing comfort and convenience whilst stuck indoors. We are tracking the same amount of spending on lockdown essentials as we did back in March. We would normally see a wave of spending on work clothing and partywear, as workers start planning ahead for December celebrations. However, shoppers seem confined to the fact that celebrations this year will most likely be in sweats rather than suits. Once again, with gym’s closed all around the country, we’ve seen consumers keen to keep fit at home with a boom in demand for exercise equipment.”

Online retailers increase discounts by 49 percent during lockdown

LovetheSales.com data reveals the volume of online discounts has sharply increased by 49 percent in the second lockdown. Retailers are offering a record number of discounts for November in a bid to offset the bricks and mortar sales lost by closing stores. An increased number of retailers have already offered shoppers early Black Friday deals this year, including Calvin Klein, Reiss and Mango.

“This is an unprecedented situation for retailers. Many shops would have earmarked the holiday season to drive sales and make up for the downturn at the beginning of the year, but a second lockdown has shifted priorities. Retailers are now pushing record levels of deals online and using ‘early Black Friday deals’ to entice shoppers to spend throughout November. We expect this to be the biggest Black Friday ever for online shopping.”

Shoppers can be cautious with spending during the lockdown period, but the announcement from the Chancellor to prolong the furlough scheme until March has boosted confidence and search for certain categories. The LovetheSales.com data team revealed online demand for premium brands is up +31 percent, while demand for luxury brands is down -44 percent and high street brands -23 percent.

“As we saw with the first lockdown, Premium brands like Ralph Lauren and Ted Baker are thriving. Shoppers are in no rush to keep on top of trends and fast fashion and are choosing to spend on quality reliables over quantity. Luxury clothing is also suffering with shoppers reluctant to invest in high price tags for clothing that they might not be able to show off in 2020.”

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Image via Pexels; Article source: LovetheSales.com