Channel Shifts Driving Apparel Dollars Online, Reports NPD

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U.S. online sales are projected to grow across apparel, with online-only retailers taking share from other channels through 2019, according to The Future of Apparel, a new report from The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

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“Retail is not dead, it is just spread. The apparel industry is spread across a wider range of options than ever before, be it in-store, online, buy, rent, or resell,“ said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group, Inc. “Online has opened the doors to more ways to engage consumers.”

U.S. online sales are projected to grow across apparel, with online-only retailers taking share from other channels through 2019, according to The Future of Apparel, a new report from The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

In 2017, 21 percent of annual apparel sales came from website purchases, and 76 percent came from in-store purchases*. While in-store purchases declined 3 percent compared to 2016, online apparel sales increased 7 percent to $46 million.

“Retail is not dead, it is just spread. The apparel industry is spread across a wider range of options than ever before, be it in-store, online, buy, rent, or resell,“ said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group, Inc. “Online has opened the doors to more ways to engage consumers.”

Almost half of the U.S. online buying population made an apparel purchase online in 2017. NPD’s Checkout E-Commerce Tracking information, which is based on information collected from more than three million consumers through data provided by our partner Slice Intelligence, reveals that the average annual apparel online spend per buyer increased 11 percent, compared to 2016. In particular, The Future of Apparel uncovers that the largest consumer segment is also very comfortable shopping online – they are shoppers who consider themselves to be social, fashion, and image conscious. The report also reveals higher rates of shifting online in sales of seasonal and special-occasion categories, like tailored clothing, sleep, and outerwear.

“Apparel’s online consumer audience is expanding as the platform evolves into a more complete and diverse shopping experience,“ added Cohen. “Online-only retailers have a unique flexibility that helps them compete in this constantly changing shopping environment, provided they don’t lose sight of innovative thinking.”

*Source: The NPD Group / Consumer Tracking Service

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