Rethink The Closet
After nearly two years of focusing on things like homewear and sportswear, consumers will reallocate their share of wallet to other categories as closed demand for looks coincides with greater social freedoms outside the home.
To anticipate these paradoxical choices, brands will need to rely more heavily on data-driven product development and adjust their inventory accordingly to ensure their product lines made a sound to consumers adapting to their new lifestyles.
The era of the fashion pandemic will be remembered in part for the rise of casual wear. But while some changes in spending across categories will be temporary, others will see sustained momentum in the long run. The result is a changing consumer demand structure, with new fundamentals for some fashion categories and a shift in 2022 that will force some market players to adjust their product development, merchandising and marketing strategies.
Consumer lifestyles have changed due to the pandemic, leading to a uncertainty of seasonal purchases characterized by irregular peaks and lowest point, such as increased demand for sportswear and casual wear. Resizing has also upset the usual patterns of demand. In the U.S., 40
percent of women and 35 percent of men are a different size than they were in 2019, and demand fatigue is now setting in for some categories and products as the recent spate of irregular buying levels off.
Pandemic-resistant categories such as sleepwear, sportswear and underwear are starting to see slower demand, compared with growth rates of more than 100 percent in 2020, according to an analysis by online fashion platform Lyst. Some brands are starting to slow their inventory turnover.
According to a study of e-commerce trends by data analytics platform StyleSage, 20 percent and 50 percent fewer new sports shorts and tops will hit the market by the end of 2021 in the U.S. and U.K., respectively, compared with the same period in 2020.
On the other hand, consumers will boost formal wear business next year as more people return to work and formal occasions are added back into the schedule. In doing so, they will build on the momentum created in the second half of 2021 due to pent-up demand. So-called "revenge shopping" in some markets after people's social lives resume. According to StyleSage, monthly searches for prom, wedding invitation, cocktail and formal dresses are up 200 percent year-over-year globally in 2021.