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Retailers Can Prepare for Covid’s Second Wave by Stocking These Items

Whoever said jeans had no place in a pandemic was wrong.

Current fashion trends may lean in favor of sweatpants, but the forecast is still looking good for denim. A new report published by retail market intelligence platform Edited broke down some of the top-selling apparel items by region, and showed an uptick in year-over-year jeans sales in the U.K., France and Spain.

As expected, sweatpants took first place as the bottoms category with the greatest year-over-year growth—sales skyrocketed 106 percent in Spain and 41 percent in the U.S., where loungewear and other casual attire have taken over. Similarly, hoodies sales increased by 58 percent in Spain and 46 percent in the U.S. Preferring more elevated loungewear, France saw a 50 percent increase in cardigan sales versus the same period last year.

House dresses have also become a popular loungewear item, with midi styles up 146 percent in the U.S. and maxi styles up 408 percent in France.

On the other hand, shorts and more formal apparel such as tuxedo jackets, camis, blouses and polo shirts all saw a decrease in sales compared to this time last year.

Edited published the report to help retailers prepare for a second wave of Covid-19, as spikes in cases are now being recorded throughout the U.S., the U.K., France and Spain. Having just come off of a second wave, Australia served as a case study for a portion of the report, and showed that items such as casual wear and shorts—despite it being the country’s winter season—were the best-selling garments during its subsequent outbreak.

To compensate for the tumultuous year, Australian retailers took to heavy discounting. In August, the monthly average discounting depth was 45 percent, with 59 percent of items reduced. They also changed the way they communicated with consumers, focusing on “post-iso” dressing to give them something to look forward to through the pandemic.

Last week, Edited hosted a webinar discussing the importance of data in retail planning, and noted retailers must look to methods other than fashion shows and buying events to succeed in the new normal.

Face masks, for the time being, appear to be part of this reality. Already, sales are starting to spike again ahead of a second outbreak and as regions such as the U.K. introduce new penalties for failure to cover up, Edited reported.