A forecast of retail sales data released by IBM indicates that women’s apparel sales will rise 9.2% in the third quarter over Q3 2011. Additionally, children’s clothing sales will rise 6.2%, and footwear will increase 5.2%. Men’s clothing, which has been showing steady growth for several quarters, is predicted to fall 6.7%.
The analysis revealed that consumers are increasingly sales conscious and savvy, and are more likely than ever to use the Internet to comparison shop and read reviews of items before making a purchase.
In a positive trend, the majority of consumers were satisfied with this year’s product offerings. On the flip side, consumers were increasingly worried about ill-fitting clothes, a possible reflection of men’s growing fashion consciousness.
Retailers have been responding to consumer desires by increasing the frequency of promotions and sales, as the average consumer continues to be extremely sensitive to price point. Continued weak economic data will likely only exacerbate this trend.