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"Fashion’s future depends on casual clothing,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “But, today’s casual fashion is different from what was once referred to as ‘sportswear’ in the American fashion industry.”
According to the NPD Group, consumers are looking for their clothing to do more. Dollar sales of non-active casual-wear apparel that has special features like stain-resistance, wicking, antimicrobial, and wrinkle-resistance grew 7 per cent in the past year, with nearly every applicable category contributing to the growth.
Today’s consumer is mixing and matching their clothing styles, price-points, brands, and retailers. Non-active casual-wear is maintaining its place in the consumer’s closet. Wardrobe staples like casual pants, golf/polo/rugby shirts, and jackets and blazers are making a comeback. Over a quarter of the spending in this segment comes from gen X (39-54 year olds), up 2 per cent in the past year.
Specialty and department stores are at the top in terms of overall sales of casual-wear apparel, with 29 per cent and 15 per cent of the market respectively. But off-price retailers aren’t far behind with 14 per cent of the year’s dollar sales. Growth is being driven by off-price and manufacturer-owned/direct-to-consumer stores, illustrating changes in the ways in which consumers shop and the new apparel retail landscape.
“Today’s definition of everyday apparel has no clear boundaries, and this is the approach today’s apparel manufacturers and retailers need to take,” added Cohen. “It’s about delivering clothing that solves consumer problems, while staying true to your brand.”
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help its clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2000 companies worldwide rely on it to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce.
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