Consumers Purchase Summer Apparel Despite Pandemic

Temperatures are rising, and we’re not only talking about the weather, as the pandemic continues through the summer. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, apparel sales have gone down by about 35%, since clothing is not where consumers’ priorities lay. However, seasonal summer apparel is rising in sales and accounts for one-fifth of total apparel spending, which is even more than last year! 

Items such as shorts and swimwear are an essential part of the summer wardrobe, and as many US cities with hot summers start to reopen, these items are flying off the (virtual) shelves. In addition to the increase in summer apparel sales, sales in underwear and sleepwear are growing. Due to less of a demand in tailoring clothing for those nights out on the town, basic apparel is reliable and is capturing 25% of sales, compared to just 17% last year. 

As lockdowns lift per state, consumers are still playing it safe and sheltering in place. With this indoor-only mindset, demand has shifted to comfort. Many apparel websites are promoting their loungewear collections, rather than “occasion-wear” which is more form-fitting and for social events. Clothing websites and their “new-in” sections are filled with loungewear, basic apparel, underwear, and casual summer dresses. With items on the market being less fitted and more relaxed, companies are rarely dealing with returns! In fact, the clothing website Sosandar’s overall returns rate fell 33% from April to May. 

Priorities in demand will shift as the pandemic plays out, and as the lockdowns lift. Even if we continue staying at home due to the virus, the summer heat will still get to us. Despite the pandemic, summer apparel will continue to rise in sales.