(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). The NPD Group estimated women’s apparel retail sales grew to $116.4 billion in 2013, a 4 percent increase over the $112.3 billion it estimated for 2012. And one particularly dramatic increase occurred in hosiery where “dollar sales for tights grew 33 percent in 2013.”
Overall, “Double-digit increases in some of the smaller apparel segments - those producing less than $10 billion in annual sales - drove the gains” reported the research firm. For example, outerwear increased 12 percent to $6.3 billion. “Winter 2013-2014 was one of the longest and coldest winters in recent history, so the spike in sales of cold weather clothing comes as no surprise,” said Marshal Cohen of NPD.
Double-digit dollar gains of jackets/blazers and suit separates helped drive annual dollar sales for tailored clothing to $4 billion, an 11 percent increase over 2012.
“Even though the stores benefitting the most in 2013 from total women’s apparel sales were off-price retailers and warehouse clubs, there were some bright spots within some other channels,” according to NPD. “Strong sales of outerwear and tailored clothing influenced the increased sales in department stores and mass merchants.”
In addition, “Website purchases, which represented 15 percent of women’s apparel sales, saw some of the highest growth for the year, increasing 17 percent over 2012. Also noteworthy is the fact that the average price of an online purchase of women’s apparel is higher than an in-store purchase.”
“With the continued increase of online sales threatening the traditional brick-and-mortar retail model, retailers and brands must be quick to adapt to the changing needs of the online shopper,” warned Cohen. “Seamless integration across all channels will help retailers maintain a better connection with their shoppers.”
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