The Square

The Square is a centralized hub where we can bring our free tools and content to the wider location analytics community.

Apparel
Quarterly Index
2021: Q2

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

The Apparel sector was one of the hardest hit over the pandemic, and it is one of the slowest to recover – but it is undeniably recovering. In Q2, the visit gap from Q1 shrunk by almost half, with some sectors already showing growth while others are slowly bouncing back.

Analyzing dozens of brands including:

Visit Gap Narrows by Half

Apparel was one of the hardest-hit sectors during COVID. With the country opening back up, however, customers are returning to stores. Apparel visits were up by 29.1% compared to last quarter, and the overall visit gap compared to 2019 shrunk to just -6.7%. With many indoor malls still closed or partially closed during much of Q2, the full extent of the sector’s recovery may only be known over the next couple of months.

“Apparel visits were up by 29.1% compared to last quarter, and the overall visit gap compared to 2019 shrunk to just -6.7%.”

-6.7%
Yo2Y visit gap falls to -6.7%

Visit Length on the Rise

People are spending longer in stores than they did in Q1 – but median visit length still lags behind 2019. As malls fully reopen, the upcoming Back to School season is critical for the Apparel sector to prove that it can still attract customers to stores in the face of growing competition online.

“People spent more time in stores over Q2.”

+2.7%
Median visit length up by 2.7% compared to Q1

Rise of Off-Price and Athletic Wear

The apparel recovery is unevenly distributed, with some subsectors still seeing double-digit visit gaps while others – most notably off-price and athleisure/athletic wear – thrive. The economic uncertainty coupled with the long months spent at home are encouraging customers to look for cheap and/or comfortable clothing, and brands that cater to these trends have reached or exceeded 2019 visit numbers despite the overall sector’s still incomplete recovery.

“Amidst the overall sector’s still-incomplete recovery, off-price and athleisure/athletic wear are thriving.”

+12.4%
Visits to Burlington were up 12.4% compared to 2019

Department Stores’ Slow Comeback

Department stores are still struggling to reach pre-pandemic visit levels, with many major department stores still exhibiting double-digits visit gaps compared Q2 2019. But visits increased significantly compared to last quarter – perhaps tied to the mall reopenings – indicating that this apparel subsector is in the midst of a significant return.

“Department stores are still struggling to reach pre-pandemic visit levels, but the dramatic increase in quarterly visits indicates that this category should not be written off just yet.”

+42.6%
Macy’s QoQ visits grew by 42.6% in Q2

Summary

The apparel sector received a serious blow over COVID, as stores shuttered and customers stayed home. Now, shoppers are returning to department stores, and athletic wear and off-price apparel are doing particularly well. Although many malls were still closed or partially closed in Q2, the sector managed to shrink its visit gap by almost half and to keep its customers in stores for longer. The sector is slowly but surely bouncing back.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More Mobile Location Intelligence Insights

Placer.ai Free Platform

Uncover the true story of any location

Webinar

Back to School 2021

From our Library

A breakdown of the current recovery of malls around the country and what the rest of the year could hold.

From our Blog

The fitness industry’s impressive covid recovery signals that the predictions about “the end of gyms” will not be coming true any time soon.
Despite the country's reopening, liquor store foot traffic is still booming – and the current surge may be rooted in pre-pandemic trends.

Grow Your Business With Placer.ai
Try Our Dashboard for Free