Nov 17, 2020
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Loungewear is winner in new English lockdown but party looks struggle

Nov 17, 2020

With England back in lockdown, sales aggregator website LovetheSales.com is back issuing its shopper trend reports as it did in the first lockdown. And the headline news? Cosy, comfortable clothing and accessories are hot sellers.

Consumers are choosing comfort clothing in the latest English lockdown - Photo: Vlada Karpovich/Public domain

In fact, loungewear sales have risen by 122% year-on-year in November, the company said using data based on the buying behaviour of 6 million online shoppers. Brands such as Ugg (+52%), Calvin Klein (+42%) and Nike (+25%) are also doing particularly well.

Looking at categories more specifically, the company’s data showed that hoodie sales are up 164%, joggers up 118%, sweatshirts up 81%, tie-dye clothing up 72%, and slippers are 42% higher.

LovetheSales also said that the rise in comfortable clothing isn't only about relaxing at home, as the Nike increase shows. Consumers also seem to be buying for exercise regimes. That’s made clear by the fact that exercise equipment demand has jumped by 113% in November with products such as yoga mats up 132%, exercise bikes up 40% and activity trackers rising 70%. Top brands here include Peloton and Garmin.

Given the fashion categories that are rising, it's clear that some categories will also be struggling and these reflect those that struggled back in the first lockdown during the spring.

LovetheSales said that office clothing in general has seen demand dropping 145% year-on-year with suits down 166%, belts falling 150%, men's shirts down 130%, smart trousers down 127% and Derby shoes down 103%.

Unusually given the time of year, demand for party clothing has also dropped. Consumers having no pre-Christmas social occasions to enjoy this month and being uncertain about how many they'll be able to enjoy next month is clearly having an effect.

Wrap dresses are down 115%, bodycon dresses down 99% and clutches down 61%.

Shoe demand has also fallen across most major categories, with consumers not needing to buy footwear given that they're going out less. Ugg and Nike may be having a moment, but the wider lack of footwear enthusiasm means heels are down 110%, trainers down 98%, and boots down 95%. 

The company’s figures also show that the volume of online discounts has surged by 49% during lockdown. Retailers are offering “a record number of discounts for November in a bid to offset the bricks and mortar sales lost by lockdown”. And an increased number of retailers have already offered shoppers early Black Friday deals this year.

Reiss, for instance, had 20% off everything on its site, while Calvin Klein and Mango also dived into Black Friday early with discounts.

Top discounting categories in November include men’s shirts, high-heeled shoes, dresses, coats and jackets, and jeans.

However, it seems the announcement from the Chancellor about prolonging the furlough scheme until March has boosted shopping confidence and searches for certain categories.

Online demand for premium brands is up 31% in November 2020, compared to November 2019, although luxury is down 44% and high street brand demand is down 23%.

LovetheSales said this is a sign of consumers opting for quality, but shunning ultra-high prices as they might not be able to "show off” any luxury purchases this year.

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