Sales of holiday clothing rise as lockdown eases
UK shoppers released from lockdown may not yet be back to normal but they are looking forward to some ‘normal’ activities and are focused on holidays in particular. That means sales of holiday clothing are rising, the latest Retail Recovery Report from discount aggregator site LovetheSales said on Tuesday.
The government lifted the quarantine regulations on 59 countries last week and the anticipation of that move had “a major and almost immediate impact on shopping searches”.
LovetheSales said “the public are trading in their lockdown sweaters for swimwear, with big increases in demand for holiday clothing”.
The surge comes as many UK consumers had previously assumed that holidays simply wouldn’t happen this year. But the prospect of being able to travel has seen a strong uplift in online demand during July for key items. Dresses rose 82% year-on-year, sandals 26%, and sunglasses, bikinis and swim shorts 22% each.
More specific trending items have included tie-dye bikinis that are up 400%, linen shorts (+236%), linen wide leg trousers and puff sleeve wrap dresses (both +83%), bucket hats and thick oversized sunglasses (both +50%), linen jumpsuits/playsuits (+49%), and chunky sandals (+24%).
Holiday clothing searches overtook those for “stay-at-home fashion” for the first time and the company doesn’t see the trend stopping any time soon.
The change in demand comes as retailers are also offering big discounts to help clear summer stock with the volume of markdowns 22% higher in July than a year ago.
Some of those products seeing high demand are, not coincidentally, also those with the biggest price cuts, with sandals seeing discount volumes up 81%, dresses up 21%, bikinis up 16% and swim shorts up 12%.
Interestingly, LovetheSales said one category that has seen very high demand online during the lockdown is lingerie, accelerating an existing trend. It said that Victoria’s Secret’s “reluctance to invest in an efficient online model for the UK, using its US-based inventory to satisfy UK shoppers,” is one explanation for its problems in Britain.
This meant that even though the UK online ops for the chain weren’t included in its recent UK administration, online demand for the brand was down 22% in lockdown. By contrast, Ann Summers was up 82%, La Senza up 23% and Agent Provocateur up 22%.
Meanwhile, LovetheSales also looked at what was happening in Leicester as it became the first UK area to see a local lockdown. The company tracked “huge spikes in online traffic from Leicester, searching for lockdown essentials”.
On the fashion front, Leicester residents drove demand for loungewear as much as 200% higher.
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