Q4 Apparel Index

With Black Friday and Super Saturday serving as anchors, Q4 is arguably the most popular time for shoppers to hit the stores.  With endless amounts of sales and promotions, retailers are bound to see a bump in traffic throughout Q4 and the holiday period. So, we analyzed eleven of the top offline apparel retailers to see how they closed out 2019. 

Overall Sector Growth

The overall apparel sector performed quite well with an 18% increase from the previous quarter. When we look at all eleven brands analyzed, we see ten of them enjoying increased visits from Q3 to Q4 of 2019.  Kohl’s takes the top spot, seeing a staggering 38.5% increase from the previous quarter. Macy’s, despite news of it closing nearly 125 stores, also saw a massive 33.3% increase from Q3.  Burlington Coat Factory and JCPenney followed suit with increases of 26.6% and 28.2%. Only Dillard’s saw a slight decrease of 0.6% for Q4. 

But, even with the shortened holiday period, year-over-year visit growth for the analyzed group saw an overall 6% increase from Q4 2018.  Each brand saw a fairly significant increase, with Ross leading the way with 12.5% growth. Retailers such as Dillard’s, Nordstrom and Old Navy, also saw massive growth during the holiday period at 7.8%, 8.2% and 8.3% respectively.   

The ability for these retailers to show such year-over-year strength speaks volumes to the impact the holiday shopping period has on the offline world. 

Loyalty Lies with Discount 

The top low-cost players, such as Kohl’s, Ross, and TJ Maxx see the highest customer loyalty with their offline approach creating a greater draw for repeat visits.  Again, we see Ross claiming the top spot with just under 2.2 visits per quarter, with the rest of the off-price sector not far behind. 

Aside from the clear front-runners, the rest of the sector shows a pretty tight race, with just under 0.4 visits separating them from one another.  As we mentioned earlier, the overall sector showed significant growth year-over-year, as well as Q3 to Q4, leaving the door open for a dark horse to gain traction going into the new year. 

Q4 Takeaways 

It’s clear that off-price and discount retailers, such as Kohl’s and T.J Maxx remain strong across a growing apparel category, but the vitality of this sector is what makes it interesting.  Even with the obvious front runners, the rest of the pack isn’t far behind. Despite quite a tumultuous year for some of the brands, they may be on track for a sector takeover and powerful turnaround in 2020. 

We can certainly thank the power of the holiday shopper for such strong offline foot traffic in Q4. 

Will loyalties shift in Q1 2020? Check back with the Placer.ai blog to find out. 

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