Apparel Market Research & Business Solutions

No other industry changes as rapidly as fashion. What’s hot today is blasé tomorrow. Innovation becomes retro. Seasons change. Hemlines rise and fall ... and so do your sales figures. A celebrity makes a fashion statement on the red carpet and suddenly your financial statements are covered in red.

How do companies win in such an environment? The apparel, footwear, and accessories markets have depended upon The NPD Group for fashion market research and solutions for decades. Leading brands rely on us for comprehensive information and analysis about consumer spending and shopping behavior plus customized solutions that drive better business decisions.

How do we do it?  We collect information from more than 1,200 retailer partners representing 165,000 stores worldwide, field 12 million consumer surveys each year, and mine the receipts of millions of consumers -- to tell our clients what, where, and why people are buying.   We bring those robust data assets along with our industry expertise and combine it with your data or third-party data to address your business issues, from opportunity identification to program evaluation.

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Retail Tracking

Monitor sales of men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel in department stores, specialty stores, and national chains. You also can use this service to track sales of women’s accessories in department stores and national chains. It delivers the most detailed point-of-sale (POS) information available for the fashion industry to guide your critical business decisions.

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Consumer Tracking

Understand who is buying apparel and accessories, and how, why, and where they are shopping. Based on market research information from nearly 2 million consumers, the service delivers an unmatched view across all retail channels in the U.S. In Canada, the Consumer Tracking Service focuses on apparel.

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Account Level Reports

These reports enable retailers who choose this option to share their information with approved vendors, allowing vendors to analyze business performance at specific retailers down to the item level in many instances. By making this report available to their vendors, retailers can work together with them to optimize performance. These reports may only be made available with the express permission of the retailer.

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Shopping Activity Services

Get access to insights on shopping, browsing, and buying visits across all channels, retailers, categories and demographics. View conversion rate and average spend measures and see how they vary by retailer, season, and demographic. Gain an understanding of where else your customer is shopping and buying.

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Checkout Tracking℠

Checkout Tracking℠ provides information on consumer buying behavior at the market basket level, based on receipts for brick-and-mortar and online retail purchases. You get precise, item-level purchase detail that is linked to buyers and their demographics. Data comes from large-scale longitudinal panels, making it possible to study the same consumers over time, analyze competitive market baskets, and identify purchase patterns.

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Modeling and Analytics

Where are the opportunities? Where are the dangers? What happens next? Now you can know. The NPD Group’s Solutions portfolio provides insight into what will happen in the future in your market.

Our team combines NPD POS and consumer information; custom survey research; distinctive, one-of-a kind research techniques and methodologies; and a half century of industry expertise to identify opportunities, uncover threats, forecast sales and market share, optimize pricing and assortment, and much more.

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December 28, 2015

Get to Know Millennials’ Faves

They’re coveted by many retailers. They’re also widely misunderstood. How well do you really know Millennials? Our insights show this generation is di

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November 6, 2015

Explore the Bra Purchase Journey

To stay ahead of trends in the bra market and understand the levers that influence purchase decisions, you need a comprehensive view of women’s shoppi

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October 6, 2015

How well do you know the fastest-growing styles

Test your knowledge of which UGG boot style had the greatest year-over-year sales growth.

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August 27, 2015

Start Seeing What Others Cannot

What matters in online apparel sales? Getting the right products in the right places for the right people.

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August 6, 2015

Set the Right Price at the Right Time for the Right Product

Identify price gaps, explore price elasticity, and understand the optimal frequency for promotions.

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July 9, 2015

2015 Women's Special Sizes Report

New 2015 Women's Special Sizes Report uncovers how to reach and win loyalty from plus, petite, tall, junior, and combination apparel shoppers

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Press Releases

March 31, 2016

The Number of Teens Buying Plus-Size Clothing Has Nearly Doubled Since 2012, Reports NPD

Two-thirds of U.S. females consider themselves to be a special size; one-third identifies as plus-size Port Washington, NY, March 31, 2016 – Teenage females in the U.S. are changing when it comes to the types of clothing sizes they are purchasing, according to the 2015 Women’s Special Sizes Study ...

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March 7, 2016

Warmer Weather and Interest in the Outdoors Spurs Growth in Camping Equipment Sales

Port Washington, NY, March 7, 2016 – The fall and winter months are more commonly associated with warm coats than camping tents, but with 2015 being the second warmest year on record in the U.S. (behind 2012), annual outerwear sales were flat and camping-related equipment helped to grow the ou ...

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February 22, 2016

Millennials Have Triggered an Evolution in the Way Women Shop for Bras, Reports NPD

Port Washington, NY, February 22, 2016 – Bra shopping is a complex process for women of any age, but the way Millennial women shop for and select bras differs significantly from the behavior of older generations, according to the 2015 Bra Journey Insights report from global information company The N ...

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January 28, 2016

Small Personal Accessories Brought Big Business Opportunity in 2015, Reports NPD

Wallets, wristlets, and key fobs are driving significant dollar volume growth, when priced right Port Washington, NY, January 28, 2016 – Approximately 20 million small personal accessories were sold in U.S. department store, national chain, and direct-to-consumer retailers in 2015, a 4 percent incre ...

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April 25, 2016

Do These Pants Make Me Look Vegan?

Wellness. The term is so ubiquitous nowadays that we rarely stop to think about it outside of the context of juicing, yoga, and expensive sweatpants. What does it actually mean to be well, and what does it mean to adopt a healthy lifestyle? From spiralizers and coloring books, to burritos and boo...

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March 3, 2016

Winning Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers With the Five Ws

Every journalist and student in America knows the so-called five Ws: who, what, when, where, and why. It turns out the same five Ws are also the most basic forms of consumer segmentation. But relationships among the five Ws of shopping are a bit more complex than they are among the five Ws of ...

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November 13, 2015

Understanding Omnichannel Shoppers Through Receipt Mining

Back in the day -- and we mean the mythical, halcyon days of small-town America -- shopkeepers were among the core, central figures in a community. Their prestige came from their well-recognized knowledge of the truths surrounding any given family. The shopkeeper knew who was short of cash, who r...

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November 10, 2015

Segment And Sell To Gen Y: 10 Ways Younger and Older Millennials Shop Differently

10 Ways Younger and Older Millennials Shop Differently The retail world is obsessed with Millennials. It wouldn’t be a normal day if newsletters, tweets, and the media didn’t overflow with headlines on the latest Millennial trend, how to “harness” their alleged power, or how to reach this malleab...

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September 9, 2015

Footwear Industry Scorecard

It’s been a strong year for footwear, which reached total sales of $64 billion in the 12 months ending in June 2015—a YOY increase of 5 percent. Sneakers were the top-performing category, generating $1.2 billion in sales and responsible for 38 percent of the footwear industry’s growth. Nike, Skeche...

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September 1, 2015

Apparel Industry Scorecard

It’s been a healthy year for the apparel industry, which enjoyed $214.2 billion in total channel sales in the 12 months ending in June 2015—a YOY increase of 2.8 percent. What drove that growth? In case you missed it, we’re in the midst of an activewear golden age. Consumers want to dress in a way ...

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August 10, 2015

What feels longer than a school day to a 10-year old?

This year’s Back-to-School season Ahh the Back-to-School shopping season! That make or break time of year for many of the manufacturers and retailers who toil in the world of academic supplies and related paraphernalia.  It can be a stressful time. And although the stress levels this year are ...

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July 29, 2015

Gender-Neutral Retail

How Retail is Becoming Less Gendered, and Why You Should Care It’s 2015 — and our nation is degenderizing. Our futures are no longer dictated by the sex organs we’re born with. Girls can be anything they want to be, whether a professional rugby player, engineer, CEO of a startup, or President of ...

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June 15, 2015

Talking Shop

E-commerce is growing in the fashion and beauty world. Last year, 23 percent of footwear sales, 20 percent of accessory sales, 16 percent of apparel sales, and 11 percent of U.S. beauty sales took place online. And these rates have continued on an upward trajectory. With that said, online reta...

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May 28, 2015

Facing (Virtual) Reality

How smart mirrors, VR headsets, and other tech will alter retail Pretty soon the lines between physical and digital reality will be blurred. You’ll be able to sit in your living room, put on some 3D goggles, and shop for a pair of jeans in a virtual store — that does not physically exist. Or, ...

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Insights and Opinions from our Analysts and Experts

April 18, 2016

April Showers And The Email Flood

Springtime bloomed in stores months ago, though the season is only a few weeks old and, moreover, it hasn’t felt much like it in many parts of the country. For all this time, retailers’ heaps of promotional emails and text messages touting skirts and spring essentials have likely been overlooked by ...

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January 21, 2016

Holiday Shopping Remorse

Despite the abundance of promotions designed to lure consumers to shop early and often throughout the 2015 holiday shopping season, the final sales results have been mixed. In reality, there may have been too many promotions for consumers to digest. A great sale can result in an impulse purchase, an...

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January 11, 2016

Decision 2016 – Boots Edition

Even if you remain undecided in terms of which presidential candidate to back, I’m sure by now you’ve taken a stand on one of the key issues on the trail that has recently emerged – Marco Rubio’s boots. Last week, The New York Times reported on the “surprising focus on Senator Marco Rubio’s shiny, s...

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August 20, 2013

Say It Isn’t So. The “Murse” Is Back.

While many of us may have noticed others might have not, recently men have been quietly carrying around what women have been addicted to for decades – a bag for their essential items. Men have been silently learning just how important it is to have a bag to carry their “stuff.” “Stuff” such as elect...

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