Apparel and footwear specialist retailers will continue to be one of the worst affected channels in the pandemic, recording a further current value decline in 2021, albeit at a much slower rate than in 2020. Hindering sales in 2021 was the temporary closure of apparel and footwear specialist retailers in Oslo in the first quarter of the year.
Due to the fear of contracting COVID-19, purchases have increasingly moved from physical stores to e-commerce for apparel and footwear sales. This grew by double-digit current value terms in 2020 (compared with lower rates in 2019) with similar growth continuing in 2021.
Sustainability remains a major trend within apparel and footwear specialist retailers with customers becoming increasingly discerning about environmental issues and how their purchases affect the world around them. Globally, the garment industry is known to be poor in this regard, creating a lot of waste and lack a circular economy.
The prospects for apparel and footwear specialist retailers are set to be disappointing over the forecast period with an overall decline expected. These negative or stagnating sales can be at least partly attributed to the anticipated continuing shift towards e-commerce.
In the forecast period, sustainability will remain a major focus for brands as the trend increases amongst consumers. The audit in June 2020 completed by the Consumer Council will ensure that future marketing practices align with the law and do not discredit apparel and footwear specialist retailers by overselling the concept of sustainability.
With the digital revolution putting pressure on store-based brands, it is highly probable that rationalisation of outlets will continue. As such, the channel outlet number is set to dwindle in the coming years.
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Apparel and footwear specialists are chained or independent retail outlets with a primary focus on selling one or more of the following categories: clothing, footwear, and/or fashion accessories (costume jewellery, sunglasses, belts, hats, gloves, handbags, scarves, etc.). Apparel specialists include specialty apparel like wedding dress shops. Example brands include Primark, TJ Maxx, and Zara. Sportswear retailers, such as Adidas and Nike, are excluded from this channel and are included in Sports Goods Stores; this is due to the companies considering themselves sports companies as opposed to apparel companies.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Apparel and Footwear Specialists research and analysis database.
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