Apparel’s Just Gotta Have Fun in 2018
Maria Rugolo, Director, Industry Analyst ;
When a new year arrives, I start to think of the things I’d like to do differently from the last. Oddly enough, each year, the same three things keep reappearing on my list; read more, cook more and travel more. I should also stress that the words “for fun” should be added to the ends of each of these statements as there was still reading, cooking and traveling that took place but it was rarely for entertainment purposes.
The new year also has me thinking about what’s in store for apparel in 2018. Similar to my personal list, adding “for fun” also seems relevant. With consumers being selective on where they are allocating their spending and their desire to invest in making memories, 2018 is the time for apparel to jump on the experience or should I say “fun” bandwagon.
Here are three areas where the concept of “fun” will impact apparel for 2018.
Increasing Foot Traffic:
As online continues to steal dollars from in-store, 2018 will be the year for these platforms to align in regards to promotions and excitement. Consumers look online for better deals but with retailers looking to increase in-store foot traffic, along with impulse purchasing, these incentives need to better align to reach the omnipresent consumer. Building an entertaining experience by ways of in-store events, sales support and overall social gatherings will continue to give consumers the incentive to break away from their screens and join in on the fun.
Increasing Product Innovation:
Three out of five apparel shoppers are indifferent about the current apparel offerings. With only eleven percent* feeling excited about today’s apparel there is a need for some disruption within this industry. Increasing color assortment will no longer cut it. Being unique and personal are a must for today’s “get to know the real me” consumer mindset. Technology coupled with a better understanding of what the consumer is looking for across various features (from slimming to stretch) will peak interest and entice shoppers to spend.
Time will continue to be a precious commodity for many in 2018. This means more money will continue to be allocated towards experiences and making new memories. This also means certain categories will feel that trade-off in spend. Consumers will always need clothes but 2018 will see more companies offering to help shoppers with pairing outfit components across a variety of price-points. This will not only help shoppers develop their personal style but also saves time and helps add some of the excitement back into the purchase process.
With a new year there tends to be a new you. Apparel can play on this concept as consumers are looking to get rid of the old in many aspects, including their wardrobe. It is a time to start fresh and by just adding a little more fun this industry can go a long way.
Cheers to a fashionable, and fun, 2018!
* Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Omnibus Sep2017