Shoppers wearing protective masks carry bags on Market Street in San Francisco, California on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Shoppers emerge from their cocoons, striving to separate them from sweatpants, stubble, and streaming.
Every day, more Americans are getting Covid-19 vaccines. As spring temperatures warm in many parts of the country, consumers are booking air travel, going to the mall, or returning to a movie in a theater.
Retail sales rose 9.8% in March as consumers wasted no time spending their $ 1,400 worth of stimulus checks, according to the Commerce Department.
“Your balance sheet is in excellent, excellent shape – wrapped, ready to go and you’re starting to spend money,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said on a call with reporters on Wednesday. He said consumers had $ 2 trillion or more cash in their checking accounts than they did before the pandemic.
When shoppers spend money again, they are channeling money into some of the same types of purchases as well as other types. Sporting goods stores recorded the greatest growth in March: they were up 23.5% on the previous month and showed that outdoor and exercise equipment is still popular. On the flip side, clothing stores saw sales grow 18.3% – a change that shows people may be refreshing their wardrobes and going out again.
Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for market researcher NPD Group, said the types of goods people buy show “how we will spend money in the short term if we move out of all this chaos.”
“It’s a really good indicator of where the consumer’s psyche is,” he said.
Here’s a look at some of the items that have appeared on sale lately:
Skirts, overalls and dresses
Skirts have been the top product that has blown off the shelves in the past few months. According to research by Refinitiv, a financial markets data company, and StyleSage, an e-commerce analytics firm, they sold out faster than any other category on a weekly basis. The two companies analyzed average sales of apparel and other merchandise across about 20 retailer websites from February 28 to March 21. These retailers included large department stores such as Kohls and specialty clothing stores like H&M and American Eagle.
For skirts, the average monthly sell-off rate was 21% in March, down from 11% in March before, although discount levels were nearly the same.
According to the companies’ analysis, customers also flocked to other spring-friendly clothing items, including overalls and dresses.
Elizabeth Shobert, vice president of marketing and digital strategy for StyleSage, said that people “bring optimism to their decisions”. You’re shopping for clothes for an upcoming vacation or going to a restaurant with friends.
“People make plans,” she said. “There was just nothing to buy anything for other than comfort gear like sweats and what you’d wear if you trained on your peloton last year. So that’s really a shift.”
Jeff Gennette, CEO of Macy, said clothing sales increased as people returned to occasions.
“You have young women who are now able to put a prom date on their calendars and who come to our stores and websites,” he said at a virtual conference hosted this week by J.P. Morgan was hosted. “You have mother of the bride. So you definitely have wedding dates that pop up on people’s calendars and you see them in the Bride category. And then only people who leave.” out more, and this is how you see it in casual day dresses. “
Alexandra Lapp wears white Bottega Veneta shoes and wide-leg jeans during Berlin Fashion Week Autumn / Winter 2020 on January 15, 2020 in Berlin.
Christian Vierig | Getty Images
While shoppers are looking for a fresh outfit, many are turning to denim.
When Levi Strauss & Co reported profits earlier this month, improved its sales and earnings outlook for the first half of the year and anticipated stronger than expected consumer demand for jeans and t-shirts.
Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh told CNBC that the industry appears to be at the dawn of a new denim cycle: one where skinny jeans are out of fashion and wide, loose-fitting denim is in fashion. The trend is mostly driven by teenagers and other Gen Z shoppers looking for “mom jeans” to pair with their crop tops.
American Eagle Outfitters is witnessing a similar rush for jeans and anticipates a spending boom with shoppers returning to the malls.
“We’re still in the pandemic, but if it goes away we could check out the Roaring 20s,” CEO Jay Schottenstein Jim Cramer told CNBC’s Mad Money this week.
Earlier this week, the tween and teen apparel retailer raised its fiscal first quarter sales outlook, saying sales are now on track to hit $ 1 billion. Schottenstein told CNBC in a separate interview that American Eagle’s denim business drove some of those profits.
“We don’t expect a 180-degree shift in formal attire,” said UBS retail analyst Jay Sole in a recent statement to clients. “Denim is a perfect way for consumers to move away from things like sweatpants to something that feels better put together yet is comfortable.”
Bottles of sparkling wine are seen in San Francisco, California
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
Reuniting with friends and family. Planning for upcoming parties. And even get an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine. Americans have had more reasons to celebrate lately, and some are popping bottles.
According to NielsenIQ, champagne sales at retailers in the United States increased approximately 103% over the same period last year in the four weeks ended April 3.
The owner of the well-known brands Veuve Clicquot and Moet & Chandon agrees. French luxury conglomerate LVMH announced Tuesday that champagne sales were up 22% in the first three months of this fiscal year compared to the same period last year. Revenue in the quarter also exceeded pre-pandemic numbers, up 15% over Q1 2019.
On a call to investors this week, LVMH said that retailers in the US and Europe have returned to bubbles, despite some restaurants and nightclubs remaining closed.
“Inventories were pretty low at the end of last year, so stocks have been replenished,” said Jean-Jacques Guiony, LVMH’s chief financial officer.
Champagne and sparkling wine also have a larger share of sales at the Drizly alcohol delivery service. In an interview, Liz Paquette, the company’s director of Consumer Insights, said bubbles accounted for 7.4% of total alcohol orders through Drizly in March and April 2019. That figure fell to 5.6% in those two months of 2020 and so far has rebounded 8.4% in March and April.
“We are definitely seeing a comeback in this category,” she said.
Drizly, which is acquiring Uber for $ 1.1 billion, has seen a trend in other buying patterns as well, Paquette said. Customers are buying a greater proportion of seasonal adult beverages like rose, whites and seltzer in place of whiskey, red wine and lager, a typical annual shift that didn’t happen in a pronounced way last spring.
She said sales of spirits, liquors and bitters have also declined slightly, as has the level of aptitude – a reflection that customers may be preparing to return to their favorite bars and order bottles in their own four walls to meet them to share with friends.
If you’ve worn the same sneakers around the house and on walks around the neighborhood for the past few months, you are not alone. This extra activity in a single pair of shoes results in a higher sneaker replacement rate.
“The replenishment cycle has accelerated,” said Cohen of the NPD. He said that sneakers, along with pajamas, are among the items that have found more use during the pandemic. Plus, after largely skipping the pandemic category, people are in need of new footwear.
New Balance trainer.
According to the NPD Group’s Consumer Tracking Service, shoe sales in the United States declined 17% year over year to $ 64 billion in the twelve months ended February 2021.
However, shoe sales improved in March – not only compared to 2020, according to the NPD, but also compared to 2019. Given the sunnier and warmer weather days, customers have been issuing stimulus checks for new kicks and even looking for seasonal and more elegant styles .
According to an analysis by StyleSage, the average percentage of sales sold out on retailer’s websites rose from 8% in March 2020 to 22% in March 2021.
Beth Goldstein, NPD’s accessories and footwear industry analyst, said shoppers are still more interested in some styles of footwear than others.
“While almost all types of shoes improved as expected compared to 2020, it was the more casual, comfortable, and sporty / sporty styles that performed and grew the best compared to 2019, while more elegant fashion styles continued to struggle,” she said.
Desiree Martin | AFP | Getty Images
Some men clean up their look after wearing five o’clock shadows and quarantine beards – or at least getting a gentle nudge from a friend, family member, or other person.
In the four weeks from February 28 to March 28, high-end shaving products were among the items that sold out at higher rates on retailers’ websites, according to Refinitiv and StyleSage studies. About 3% of shaving products were sold out on average during this period, a higher sell-off rate than kitchen appliances and garden and patio furniture.
Beard oils and shaving creams from brands such as The Art of Shaving, owned by Procter & Gamble and Kiehl’s, owned by L’Oreal, were among the most popular items. Some of the retailers with an increased rate of sales on their websites included Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.
“With gifts and self-care purchases, people begin to think about the outside world and what they want to look like,” said Shobert of StyleSage.
Online swim brand Summersalt announced that its sales increased more than 850% year over year in April.
It’s been a long winter for those used to taking a short break from the cold at a sunny island resort. Spring breakers have helped boost swimwear sales in recent weeks, but more Americans are daring to dream of poolside weekends and beach trips this summer.
Macy’s Gennette recently named swimwear as one of the categories of goods that is gradually recovering along with luggage and clothes.
Summersalt, an online swim and apparel brand that goes direct to consumers, announced that April sales were up more than 850% year over year. Like many other retailers, the almost four-year-old company also saw its sales decline last spring, CEO and co-founder Lori Coulter said in an interview.
Now, she said, customers are eager to buy colorful swimsuits, resort clothes, and other items that feel fresh and fun.
“April was really the depth of retail sales across the board for most major retailers in 2020, including Summersalt. However, what we are seeing in 2021 is not just a return to our original growth plan for the month, but an accelerated one as well The pace of growth is only down to consumer sentiment, “she said. “She’s ready to celebrate, so this celebration is different for each of us – but it could be this trip to the beach. It could just be ‘We’re ready for a weekend getaway’.”
“What we’re seeing are categories that are really big encouragement to get out and about – including a swimsuit – that really resonate,” said Coulter. “She’s looking for fun.”