According to new research conducted by PayPal, 25 percent of fashion merchants have taken no action to adapt to the changing industry due to the impacts of COVID-19.
Despite these sentiments, the company also revealed that 22 percent of merchants’ futures are dependent on holiday sales this year and 47 percent do not feel prepared for the holiday season. Notably, the company found that 57 percent of fashion merchants are doing less to prepare for the holidays when compared to retailers in other categories and 35 percent told the company they are “taking no action to manage their inventory.”
At the same time, PayPal notes as consumer behaviors continue to prioritize comfort and adjust to quarantine lifestyles fashion merchants are not making the appropriate changes in upcoming collections. Notably, 65 percent of fashion retailers told PayPay they have not introduced any new products in response to the pandemic and 72 percent said they have no plans to do so.
Further, many retailers have not made efforts to amplify e-commerce during the pandemic. PayPal’s data found 47 percent of fashion retailers have not done anything to adapt e-commerce approaches and 61 percent who have a physical store said they have not offered virtual alternatives to fitting rooms.
Data revealed that as sales of loungewear and ath-leisure continued to see growth during the pandemic, loungewear superseded luxury. And nearly 34 percent of fashion retailers indicated that the pandemic has redefined the type of clothes people wear to work now and beyond the pandemic. PayPal’s data found fashion brands experienced a 37 percent increase in affordable clothing sales, a 36 percent increase in loungewear sales, and a 35 percent increase in ath-leisure items.
PayPal also notes that sustainability has taken over for fast fashion, finding that 46 percent of fashion retailers have reported a decrease in fast-fashion purchases.
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