Retail market intelligence platform Edited presented this Wednesday a webinar dubbed “decoding retail’s biggest opportunities in a post-Covid world”, discussing the pandemic’s impact on the fashion and retail industries as well as the assortments and key categories to keep an eye on moving forward. Grace Mello, Rosalie Wetzel, and Krista Corringan (retail analyst), hosted the webinar. They shared information about the key fashion categories that should be emphasized, how consumers are shifting, and which trends will be the most successful in the coming months. FashionUnited has distilled the key takeaways of the conference to five.
New strategies appear for department stores
A report by The Fashion Law revealed that 27 bankruptcies have occurred since April 2020. The pandemic is slowly fading away, but department stores are gradually recovering. Mastercard’s SpendingPulse reported that their April sales rose by 202 percent compared with the previous year, and by 10% compared to 2019. Many strategies were developed over the past year to help department stores get back to their customers. Pop-ups are more common – see Pangaia in the spring and The Fold in Selfridges in autumn – and they create experiences for customers to draw them into physical retail and in-store shopping. Livestream shopping and partnerships – Nordstrom’s own page on its website is a great example – are two other ways to create a diverse and new physical presence. Technology and innovation are two of today’s most important strategies. They should be adopted more by industry veterans. Connected stores are a great way to attract customers, whether it’s interactive experiences or QR codes.
- Loungewear is by far the most successful categorie of the past year Zoom dressing is a new trend that focuses on looking professional and yet comfortable. It’s likely to be in leggings or sweatpants. Edited reports that retailers have decreased their blazer inventory by 19%, while increasing their hoodies selection 32 percent. The number of sweatpants available increased by 67 per cent YoY from April 2020-2021. Flat shoes are becoming more popular, which confirms the need for comfortable clothes and accessories. What are the key styles? Slippers, UGG boots and fluffy slippers are the key styles.
- Swimwear is coming back. According to Edited, sales have increased by 34% and arrivals in stores have gone up by 7 percent. The category has seen a 26 per cent increase in UK sales. This is due to consumers seeking to escape the cold and embrace summer, even though they aren’t necessarily going to exotic places. Solid colors are the most popular in swimwear, but bolder pieces with cut-outs or feminine details have also been very popular. This trend is also prevalent in womenswear collections.
- Women’s streetwear is here to stay Edited stated that new arrivals increased 53 percent and 50 percent respectively between 2019 and 2018. The key items were puffer coats and bucket hats as well as sneakers. However, women’s streetwear is moving in the right direction going into 2022. There has been a rise in genderless fashion and a gradual falling of the gender divide.
- Homeware lines on the rise The pandemic has seen homeware lines rise, with the assortments at fast-fashion stores increasing by 104 percent. The US market is expected to grow 20 percent in the next three years. Edited revealed that accessories are gaining popularity – see H&M and ZaraHome – as well as decorative items – see Anthropologie. This is mainly due Generation Rent, which has many young adults who will not be homeowners in the near future.