Apparel stores are seeing more demand now as people start to go out more often, The Wall Street Journal reported. The demand comes at the junction of numerous events, including more social events opening up, vaccines expanding in the U.S. and offices reopening, along with stimulus checks still going out.
Foot traffic to clothing stores is generally back to levels that haven’t been seen since before the pandemic, with visits down 3.4 percent in the week beginning April 5 compared to the same week in 2019. In addition, shoppers have begun making more weekend trips and visiting larger numbers of stores when they go out, the report stated. Plus, the fact that people have gained or lost weight during the pandemic is expected to potentially drive a boost in clothing sales.
Some trends have emerged in product sales, such as people starting to buy pants with buttons and zippers more than those with drawstrings or elastic waistbands. At Saks Fifth Avenue, dresses, blouses and sandals have begun selling at levels not seen since the spring of 2019, per WSJ. And at Haggar Clothing Co., workers at the distribution center have been working overtime to replenish inventory of its trousers and blazers to stock at the retail stores that sell them.
On Thursday (April 29), Moody’s Investors Service updated its outlook for the U.S. retail and apparel sector, moving it from stable to positive. The expectation now is that the sector will see the biggest recovery in operating profit in the next 12 to 18 months.
Fashion icon and longtime Vogue editor Anna Wintour has said she foresees a “roaring ’20s”-style boom in luxury goods and high fashion sales, noting that people will be looking to spend, travel and get dressed up after being locked down for so long.
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