For many retailers, the repercussions of Covid-19 in the early stages impacted their businesses, much like an earthquake; flattened and in some cases completely destroyed.
A year and a half later, global markets are reaching various stages of recovery, and data from Edited shows how buying has evolved during the pandemic and what retailers can do to boost sales using their market intelligence.
Key points to remember
Store closures have accelerated the urgency for e-commerce innovation, resulting in dramatic year-over-year improvement for key performance indicators such as dead inventory units and average days to ship.
Lifestyle changes in quarantine and working from home have led agile retailers and brands to quickly adjust their mix of categories, moving from formal wear to comfortable wear.
As some brands restructure to offer affordable prices, luxury brands continue to get more expensive as investments exceed 2020 and 2019 levels.
The early days of the pandemic saw a discounting frenzy, which was not conducive to profitability or sales efficiency. 2021 discount levels have returned to closely mirror 2019 and improve profitability.
Switch to online shopping
Accenture figures show a 160% increase in the frequency of digital purchases by those who rarely purchased online before the pandemic. Retailers needed to quickly figure out how to move inventory to deliverable locations, increase warehouse inventory, expedite shipping, and avoid costly split shipments.
Decrease in dead stock
As stores closed and consumer demand dwindled, clothing retailers found themselves with high inventory levels. Looking at comparable fashion retailers and comparing April 2021 to April 2020, the inventory value associated with dead inventory is down 38.7%. This is due, in part, to the increased demand for fashion as vaccinations roll out and consumers shed their loungewear.
Faster shipping times
Beyond the reduction in dead inventory, retailers and fashion brands saw their warehouse investments pay off with a 21.4% reduction in the average number of shipping days. These are all very healthy signals for an industry that has been forced to innovate its supply chain and downsize its assortment to bring better-selling items to market.
3 big category changes
In August 2020, McKinsey & Company reported that global consumers expected more careful shopping and lower spending in major retail categories such as clothing, footwear, home furnishings, skin care and makeup. Groceries, home entertainment and household items were to be the beneficiaries of this shift in demand.
With no festivals, weddings, parties, reunions or gatherings to attend, agile retailers and fashion brands have responded to new WFH trends and virtual engagements by contracting formal wear in favor of leisure wear. Not surprisingly, sleepwear, athletic wear, and loungewear have emerged as category saviors.
The test of time
As vaccine distribution increases and governments begin to allow freer circulation, data from Edited shows consumers are embracing pre-pandemic categories, seen by growing demand for high heels, swimwear and clothing. blazers. Already, the spring 2022 collections are radically different from those of a year ago, and early sales data is showing positive signs of recovery.
Facts and figures courtesy