“As brands and retailers kicked off holiday promotions ahead of Halloween costume purchases, we can expect an elongated holiday selling season for the apparel industry,” said analyst Maria Rugolo. of the apparel industry at NPD. “As prices rise, the fourth quarter will be a balancing act as buyers prioritize where they trade, exit or invest, prompting them to be more cautious in their clothing spending.”
NPD’s latest “Future of Apparel” report found that consumers are increasingly considering buying apparel tailored to a specific need. Sales of sweatshirts, outerwear and dresses are expected to increase in the fourth quarter from a year ago. “Wardrobe needs, stemming from replacement or restocking purchases and a return to social gatherings, will drive consumers to invest in certain aspects of their wardrobe this holiday season,” Rugolo said.
In addition to being more selective in their purchases, many consumers invoke cost-saving measures. In the last quarter, 41% of consumers said they had to give up buying clothes to buy products from another category, an increase of 5 points since the start of the year. Consumers also said that “lower prices” were the most important factor in their future clothing buying decisions. When exploring alternative shopping options, nearly 45% of consumers bought clothes on a resale platform in the third quarter, up 2 points since the first quarter.
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