Last year was a tough one for the apparel and fashion accessories market since COVID-19 left families stuck at home most of the time. There was no need for new clothes or shoes since there was no place to go other than the grocery store. This year will be a different story, and experts are saying consumers are hungry to get outside and look fashionable while doing so.
Growing Foot Traffic at Flea Markets
Many flea markets and swap meets across the U.S. continue to report increases in customers as well as vendors coming to their markets. Jackie Bickel with Caesar Creek Flea Market in Ohio says they even have a waiting list for vendors to come in because the foot traffic has been getting so busy. “This is the slowest time of the year for us, and we are seeing traffic and spending that is more comparable to early spring, late fall. We will actually be opening our outdoor market a month earlier than we typically do because we are starting to get reservation requests,” Bickel said.
The Treasure Chest market in Louisiana is also seeing a nice comeback with both customers and vendors. One of the owners, Phyllis Van Gossen, says what helped to pick up the pace in their stores was starting live Facebook videos. They would walk around with a camera every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while the shop was closed last year, and when they opened back up, all of the viewers came to see all of the products in person. Now, they have 90 percent of their vendors back, and the foot traffic is almost back to pre-COVID numbers.
The Future of Fashion is Comfort
While total apparel sales declined 19 percent in 2020, comfy cozy categories such as sweatpants (+17%), sleepwear (+6%), and sports bras (+10%) grew during a challenging period for the industry, according to an NPD Group survey. Fashion footwear sales including heels, sandals, and boots told a similar story. While overall sales declined 27 percent for the year, slippers (+21%) and clogs (+33%) were areas of growth.
Regardless of whether consumers will continue to work from home or go back to the office, demand for fashion with elements of comfort will stick around for the long term. The NPD survey found that 70 percent of consumers reported that once they can return to work and other activities, they plan to dress just as or more casually than they did prior to the pandemic. In December 2020, the comfort/active apparel categories, along with basics, captured a larger share of apparel dollars for clothing intended for work compared to 2019. The year also saw a transition away from traditional items such as blazers and into hybrid alternatives like coatigans. In footwear, NPD’s Future of Footwear report forecasts that in 2021 the fashion category will recuperate, though it will regain less than half of the volume it lost in 2020.
2021’s Best Product Trends
Coming all the way from the runways to this magazine article, American Merchandiser is here to spill the beans on all of the hottest spring and summer apparel and fashion accessory trends. Faux leather is returning as a hot commodity for articles of clothing. From sumptuous midi dresses to A-line maxi skirts in earthy hues of sand, khaki and chocolate, leather is back in its most classic forms for 2021. Bright and colorful dresses are also going to be huge hits, as well as denim, puffy sleeves, and spring knit looks.
For shoes, house slippers are the new trend that has been gaining popularity. With more consumers spending time from home either working or learning, house slippers have become the new way to be stylish while also comfy. Clogs are also stomping their way back into the spotlight, as well as platforms, baby heels, and fishnet heels, among other styles.
Now that you have all of the latest trends on what is going to be hot this spring and summer, here are some products to start ordering now to get ready for the increase in warm weather foot traffic:
This cool new design completely reimagines the traditional cargo pants. They are perfect for any outing with friends or family. Available in brown, light blue, red, and tan colors, there is a pant that matches any outfit.
Each pair measuring 9mm, these bullet shell and leather fringe earrings are hand made by Wild Flower Heart artesians out of recycled materials. The company pays for all shipping, so what are you waiting for? The tan color and fringe style is great for all seasons.
The Wild Flower Heart
This gorgeous wrist piece will give anyone those warm, beachy vibes. The brown leather makes it a great bracelet to accent any outfit, no matter where you are going. It easily snaps in place with two snap holes to adjust the size.
This chevron quilted rectangular crossbody bag comes complete with a tassel and zipper closure to keep cell phones, wallets, cosmetics, and other accessories safe. It also comes with a detachable cross chain and is perfect for shopping, travel, parties, and other outings. Available in 9 different colors.
Men’s Swim Shorts
There’s no better way to get your customers ready for the summer than swimsuits, and Myriad Trading offers a bunch of different styles and colors of men’s swim shorts. Complete with cargo pockets, buyers can choose from sizes small to XXL.
Myriad Trading, Inc.
Men love their fair share of jewelry, too, and these Tiger-Eye bracelets are a great manly accent to any outfit. Consisting of 8 different bracelets, your customers will have different pieces to choose from.
This multicolor beaded anklet is beautifully handmade with cubic zirconia beads. The rainbow color allows it to match any outfit, and can be worn over sandals and low ankle shoes.
This lightweight sneaker comes with a breathable upper part, and extra cushion on the bottom. The fun colors in this shoe are perfect for boys and girls and have velcro laces to easily be put on and taken off.
Skywheel Company Ltd
These soft fur sandals are perfect to wear out shopping or to stay comfy at home, and come with cute gemstones on the top. Available in Blue, Black, Pink, White, and Yellow, they come in sizes 5.5 – 11.
This maxi dress will be the talk of the spring and summer seasons. It is light and airy enough to feel the breeze, yet long enough to be worn for a night out or to a special event. Available in White and Olive Green.
ASB Fashion, LLC.