Once a shopping holiday guaranteed to deliver record success for retailers, Black Friday carries some uncertainty in a society still grappling with coronavirus and the cascade of supply chain and retail staffing woes.
Last year saw fewer planned promotions and a drop in in-store shopping, due in part to social distancing guidelines, high unemployment rates and the pandemic-induced rise of e-commerce. According to global retail technology provider Sensormatic Solutions, visits to physical stores plunged 94.9 percent on Thanksgiving Day and 52.1 percent on Black Friday compared to 2019.
Now, as retailers once again approach the holiday season, they’re more strategically selecting which products to include in their promotions—and denim is on the shortlist. Retail intelligence platform Edited published new data detailing which items to mark down, and named skinny jeans and jeggings as products to promote this season.
Currently, skinny jeans equal 41 percent of jeans reduced in the U.K. compared to straight leg styles at 30 percent, while 64 percent of jeggings are marked down in the U.S. Edited also recommended discounting other previously trending products that are losing steam, including house dresses, formal blouses and suiting.
On the flip side, Edited recommended avoiding promotions on more popular denim styles, as replenishments will be more expensive as a result of the supply chain crisis. Because of logistics delays, the analytics platform indicated that there are 52 percent and 42 percent fewer products currently available in the U.S. and U.K., respectively, compared to 2019.
The decline of skinny jeans has been a year-long saga, spurred on by demand for roomier and more comfortable jeans and by the Gen Z-led TikTok takedown of the millennial staple. Since then, brands have dropped a series of collections featuring straight, flare and wide-leg styles, signaling a new denim cycle that’s driving many to refresh their wardrobes.
But despite the style being prime for discounting, trend forecasters insist that it will “likely never die.” Recently, StyleSage presented data showing that skinny jeans represent 3.5 times as many searches as straight fits, the second most popular denim silhouette for women. The retail analytics platform also noted that discounting peaked in summer 2020 and has slowed since the early days of the pandemic, and that skinny jeans were most likely to be discounted—though jeans overall were less likely to be marked down than other apparel categories at department stores.
After significant discounting in 2020 as a means to push stagnant product, many brands including Levi’s and Guess have slowed their promotional strategies. Edited noted that retailers are finally returning to pre-pandemic discounting, and are currently offering discounts on 28 percent of men’s and women’s products in the U.S. compared to 41 percent at this time last year.