There are hopes for retail stores in the US – especially for apparel retail bigwigs, At least that’s what the initial indications seem to convey following the reopening of several apparel retail stores in the country.
This is interesting considering there has been lot of talks lately about how online sales have been surging and helping all apparel and fashion retailers survive in these tough times.
While Inditex’s e-commerce sales witnessed a massive 50 per cent jump, specifically rising by 95 per cent in April, the sharp increase in e-commerce sales for adidas has been more than making up for the slightly lower footfall in stores as compared to last May.
And this is the case with several other fashion pioneers too. Lululemon posted a record 68 per cent jump in its e-commerce sales during the quarter, which is 54 per cent of total net revenue compared to nearly 27 per cent for the Q1 of fiscal 2019.
And so when e-commerce was surging (which it still is) and bricks-and-mortars seemed to be down in the dumps, it did come as a surprise to see some of the apparel stalwarts witness better-than-expected response in sales.
Take for instance Abercrombie and Fitch (A&F), which has seen the sales of its reopened stores to be somewhere around 80 per cent of last year’s levels. Now that’s an impressive number.
In a weekly report presented by Coresight Research, another fashion stalwart American Eagle & Outfitters had much better figures to show than A&F. Its sales productivity at reopened stores was 95 per cent.
Similarly Gap Inc. said that stores that reopened in North America witnessed 70 per cent of better sales performance than the previous year. While all its brands including Gap and Athleta performed well, Old Navy exceeded the average.
All these numbers indicate positive beginning! At Burlington stores, the sales performance was even better than what it was in the previous year.
Kohl’s, which saw a jump in its e-commerce activity with sales rising 24 per cent for the first quarter overall and 60 per cent in the month of April alone, too is impressed with the performance of its reopened stores.
More on this Michelle Gass, CEO, Kohl’s said that the reopened stores have been witnessing sales productivity of around 75 per cent. Macy’s too has said its sales to be 50 per cent of its usual productivity.
|While there could be debate on the stores still underperforming, but on the whole – considering people are still skeptical to go out – the numbers speak optimism and delight.
Speaking about consumer behaviour, according to a recent survey conducted by Coresight Research, the proportion of consumers expecting to avoid any location or travel (68.3 per cent) is still much lower than what it was in the week of May 13, when it was 73.6 per cent, or in the week of May 20 (75.6%).
In the survey taken in the first week of June, 45 per cent of shoppers said they would like to avoid shopping centres or malls post lockdown. However, since then this percentage has been going down considerably.
Yes, the online sales are doing well and they are still the saving grace for many small and big retailers, but if retail figures are anything to go by, then it’s been a decent beginning for fashion retailers post-lockdown and it will be interesting to see the developments in the coming weeks.