Apparel and footwear experienced strong current value growth and slower retail volume growth in 2018, as changing consumer lifestyles continued to reshape the US market. US consumers’ increasing prioritisation of health and wellness continued to have a profound effect on the market, boosting growth in sportswear, as consumers not only purchased performance and outdoor apparel and footwear to prepare themselves for increased participation in athletic activities, but also sports-inspired apparel and footwear, as consumers sought to shape their identities around exercise and healthy living.
With more and more consumers looking to social media platforms, especially Instagram, to discover new brands, trends and styles, the social media influencers they follow are becoming increasingly valuable to brands and retailers seeking to reach and connect with new consumers. With the cost of using these influencers to push sponsored products and content directly related to their number of followers and level of engagement with them, brands both large and small are developing influencer marketing programmes that fit within their budgets and offer a strong return on investment.
In the highly fragmented apparel and footwear market in the US, 2018 saw brands and retailers employing creative new tactics in order to distinguish themselves from competitors and foment long-term brand loyalty with customers. As mobile phone use and social media participation continued to rise, brands invested in digital initiatives and experiential retail concepts that encouraged consumers to use their mobile phones to both optimise their shopping experiences and share them with friends and followers on social media.
Internet retailing continued to be the fastest growing channel for the distribution of apparel and footwear in 2018, largely at the expense of department stores and other store-based retailers. Amazon made headlines throughout the year for launching numerous private label apparel lines spanning womenswear, menswear and childrenswear, although their success remains to be seen.
Apparel and footwear in the US is expected to grow at a slow and steady pace over the forecast period. Womenswear remains the cornerstone, and will continue to grow as brands and retailers alike adapt to US women’s continually changing fashion trends and shopping preferences.
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Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Apparel and Footwear industry in USA with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Clothing and Footwear market research database.