Home Blog 2019 Off-Price Stores Will Attract Apparel Holiday Treasure Hunters
Oct 24, 2019

‘Tis the Season to Treasure Hunt

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As Halloween goes promotional, that is my cue to think about Christmas gifts.  While Thanksgiving is on the later side this year, this holiday season may feel longer as promotions start earlier each year. Many consumers, present company included, take advantage of those sales and begin purchasing holiday gifts before Black Friday. Keeping with that bargain mindset, off-price is already on the consumer’s radar – according to NPD’s 2019 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey, planned holiday shopping in off-price retailers has significantly increased since last year, while most channels remained relatively stable.

For the past year, off-price apparel retail dollar sales grew (+3%), while total apparel remained soft, declining 1%.  Retail space is transforming into gyms and restaurants, but some off-price retailers are expanding doors and even looking to grow online.  Interest in this channel will continue this upcoming holiday season and here are some of the reasons why . . . 

Off-price stores have a way of attracting the female consumer. 75% of the apparel growth for this channel comes from women’s clothing. She is there to shop for herself.      

Besides being female, the off-price consumer is also a Boomer.  Over 60% of the apparel dollars gained for the channel was driven by clothing for women 55-73 years old.  This generation grew up shopping in stores and is no stranger to looking for bargains.    

Off-price consumers reported buying over 1,600 apparel brands from this channel.  That is over 200 more than the traditional department stores.  We even see digitally natives making their way to the channel.

Discounted product becomes available, even before the weather changes. For some, frequenting off-price stores becomes part of the experience, and facilitates in-season shopping.  Something to think about this upcoming holiday season as one-third of off-price women’s apparel dollar growth came from: (1) coats, (2) sweaters, and (3) jeans.

Off-price exudes value: The off-price consumer recalls paying nearly 60% less at off-price stores, compared to traditional department stores, an important factor for holiday shoppers looking to maximize the dollar.

‘Treasure Hunters’ scour their favorite stores, especially during the holidays:  Looking ahead, 14% of future apparel sales will be bought by ‘Treasure Hunters’*.  This segment of consumers shops deals across mass, national chain, and off-price stores. 

Beyond holiday, the long-term strategy for this channel will be one to watch.  Off-price has room to grow online – to attract the younger consumers – but it will need to move fast as alternative options like rentals and secondhand are also appealing to that treasure hunting, yet sustainably-minded consumer.

Source: The NPD Group / Consumer Tracking Service- 12 Months Ending Aug 2019
*Source: The NPD Group / Future of Apparel - 2019

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