It is Father’s Day today! So what’s new?
What makes Father’s Day significant is that it’s the first major event that the world of fashion and apparel retail will be witnessing in this pandemic-stuck world. Yes, none of the countries can still say that they have entered the post-COVID-19 phase even though a lot of retail stores have reopened across the globe and quite a few of them have recorded impressive sales.
It’s probably the ‘new normal’ that every country is getting used to – living and learning amidst all the chaos and crisis.
June has brought back smile on the faces of several fashion retailers with most of them reporting solid performances following the reopening of their stores. As per Statista, the apparel store sales saw the biggest surge with 188 per cent growth in May over April and the trend is expected to continue in June.
Abercrombie & Fitch recorded the sales at its reopened US stores to be nearly 80 per cent of what it was in the previous year’s levels. And the numbers were even better for American Eagle Outfitters, which clocked an extraordinary sales productivity of 95 per cent.
Take, for instance, the American fashion bigwig Gap, Inc. whose sales productivity was an impressive 70 per cent from what it was in 2019 across all of its brands – what’s noteworthy is that one of its brands, Old Navy, even surpassed the average. Similarly Burlington stores too have a lot to cheer for, as its sales too have been much better than what it was last year.
And as days go by, it is only going to get better – yet again justifying the reason for every retailer’s eagerness to watch out for 2020’s Father’s Day. Kohl’s, for instance, initially saw 50 to 60 per cent sales productivity after stores were reopened, but gradually it went up to 75 per cent. It’s picking up gradually and retailers understand this. Macy’s too is overall happy with the sales number ever since the stores have reopened.
Another morale booster for all retailers is the significant growth in home-improvement sector, especially during the lockdown phase. According to the US Census Bureau, after clocking 8.1 per cent Y-o-Y growth in March, it dropped to 1.2 per cent in April, when the US was under lockdown, but it is assumed to make a strong comeback in May, though numbers are not out for the month so far.
Another point to be noted is the fast change in consumer behaviour, which yet again came out in a recently conducted survey by Coresight Research. On 27 May, there was 8 percentage point slump in the proportion of respondents trying to avoid going to any public place after the lockdown. The recent figures said 68.3 per cent respondents hoped to avoid any public place, and this number is less than what it was in the 13 May week (73.6 per cent) or 20 May week (75.6 per cent).
Specifically talking about retail, 45 per cent of the respondents said they would avoid public places/malls post lockdown – now that’s the lowest. The pace at which the consumer behaviour changes and dictates is never to be overlooked and the industry is always aware of that. So it’s been good 10 to 15 days for every biggie in this ‘new world’ following reopening of stores. While there could be debates on the stores still underperforming – considering people are still unsure of venturing out – the numbers speak optimism and delight.
And it is this optimism and delight that the retailers hope to take with themselves after the Father’s Day sales.
National Retail Federation or NRF’s 2020 survey of 8,209 adults (18 and older) in the US was recently conducted to see how Americans celebrate father on his special day. The survey, reportedly, has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points. The survey brought out purchasing trends over time including demographics as well as trends.
Here’ something that would again bring a smile on the faces of retailers! And what’s that?
75 per cent of respondents said that they will be celebrating Father’s Day and only 25 per cent replied in negative. Though it’s gone down from what it was in 2019 (76 per cent) and 2018 (77 per cent), it is still good in the current scenario. More celebrations mean more gifts and more sales – it’s as simple as that.
The average spending, as per the survey figures, is going to be US $ 148.58, while the total expected spending will be US $ 17 billion.
So, what are people going to gift their dads?
The survey says greeting cards are going to be the hot favourites among shoppers, followed by clothes, and gift cards at the third place. A good 46 per cent – 1 per cent drop from what it was in 2019 (47 per cent) said they would be gifting clothes.
Another interesting part of the NRF survey was who the shoppers (across men and women) are going to gift these products to! Obviously it has to be father… While 55 per cent men said they would gift it to their fathers or stepfathers and 47 per cent women shared the same thoughts, a good 45 per cent women also said they would gift it to their husbands. That’s interesting! 13 per cent men said they would gift to their sons, while 9 per cent women endorsed what men said. Similarly, there were people who said they would give gifts to their grandfathers, brothers, friends, godfathers or any of their relatives.
In the per cent purchasing category, among the women, 45 per cent of women showed their liking to buy clothes, while 54 per cent of men opted for clothing. The survey also distinctly showed that 30 per cent of consumers always or very often look at retailers for Father’s Day gift inspirations – something which again should bring some delight for the retailers.
The survey also highlighted that 36 per cent are interested in gifting a subscription box for Father’s Day. While 44 per cent men showed their interest for the same, 28 per cent women agreed to what men said.
These are good signs for the US retailers, and the current consumer behavioural trends over the last few weeks following the reopening of the stores are turning out to be a morale booster for all the retailers. Tomorrow we will know how the day played out for retailers, but the projections are enough to bring a smile in these otherwise gloomy days!