- Guest Contributor
This month’s Fashion podcast series by Euromonitor International
analyses how the apparel and footwear market will perform during the
holidays in light of coronavirus.
The apparel and footwear industry is among the worst hit by the coronavirus
pandemic. Temporary store closures and decreased discretionary spending
during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted retail sales. Also,
remote and hybrid options at work and schools as well as cancelled events
and social gatherings diminished the need for new clothing, footwear and
With ongoing uncertainty, Euromonitor International estimates weak
demand for these products during this year’s holiday season. As new
coronavirus cases rise across the world without certainty of when a vaccine
will be available, this year’s holiday shopping trends will be quite
different from previous years. In terms of timing, consumers are expected
to start holiday shopping earlier than usual, especially in the US.
Holiday shopping is the biggest season for brands and retailers, and the
busiest shopping days are usually Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Super
Saturday and the days right before Christmas.
On the other hand, consumers buying habits changed dramatically, and
there has been a significant shift towards e-commerce. With concerns about
safety, consumers will continue shopping online to minimise store visits
during busy holiday shopping days. According to Euromonitor International’s
Voice of the Industry: COVID-19 Survey, fielded in July 2020, 64% of
industry professionals anticipate the increase in online shopping to be a
permanent change as a result of the pandemic.
Brands and retailers will further incorporate technologies to improve
shopping experiences across multiple channels. Some retailers are using
livestreaming platforms and virtual shopping
appointments to offer in-store personalised experiences online. In China,
livestreaming is especially popular, with brands using platforms like
Alibaba to drive engagement and sales.
Another trend within the apparel and footwear industry is the rise of
casual clothing. Loungewear like sweatpants and slippers as well as
sportswear have been the preferred clothing choices this year since most
consumers are spending a majority of time at home. However, consumers are
facing continuous job and economic uncertainties from COVID-19, so they
will become more price sensitive and search for products that offer added
With in-store shopping remaining restricted, e-commerce will be the
primary channel for holiday shopping this season. However, consumers are
devoting more time and money to creating a better life at home, as well as
caring for friends and family, and their preferred holiday gifts will be
different than in past years.
Written and created for FashionUnited by Euromonitor. Explore more fashion-related podcasts
by Euromonitor here.
Image: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels