Dynamic changes are in store for retailers and brands this year with macroeconomic forces creating challenges as well as pockets of opportunities — at least for trend-right brands, according to the latest trend report from Jane Hali & Associates LLC.
Jane Hali, chief executive officer of her namesake firm, said the larger, macro forces at play include the possibility of more interest rate hikes, “moderating” housing market fundamentals and acceleration of inventory receipts — not ideal for the post-holiday shopping season period. Hali also said pureplay e-commerce retailing remains a threat to traditional retailers as does the addition of pop-ups and new store concepts that can heat up the competitive landscape.
And one looming question mark for Hali is, even as the trade war between the U.S. and China appears to have taken a “hiatus,” what does the future hold?
In Hali’s propriety “PIE plus O” analysis of fashion and retail apparel companies, the ceo said this year “oversize denim jackets, loose and wide-legged jeans, frayed hems and denim cargo pants are all on trend.”
“In addition, as retro continues there will be more bleached-out and tie-dye washes,” Hali said, adding that companies such as American Eagle Outfitters, Abercrombie & Fitch and Gap Inc. (Gap and Old Navy), among others, will likely do well with this trend.
And speaking of retro, in the footwear segment, Hali said as “the dad sneaker was one of the hottest trends in footwear” retro will continue to be “important in fashion, and we expect the strong sneaker trend to continue.” Hali said dad sneakers “should wane a bit and we will also see small heels and block heels emerge.” Here, Nike, Adidas, Vans and Foot Locker are some of the brands that are poised to do well.
Streetwear, meanwhile, is expected to maintain its robust momentum — at luxury and in the mainstream. “While streetwear is known for its casual style with hoodies and T-shirts, we do expect streetwear to blend with tailoring in its evolution in 2019,” Hali noted.
Dovetailing streetwear and retro’s ongoing strength is the logo trend, which cuts across several categories and will benefit brands and retailers such as Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, Ralph Lauren and PVH, among others. Other notable trends to watch are gender neutral looks and a strong appetite for sustainably produced items.
On the resale and rental side of the business, Hali said Gen Y and Z’s penchant for environmentalism and ethical fashion coupled with the “expense of luxury and the pressure of the Instagram society” has helped buoy the businesses keying into the shared economy. Companies to watch here are ThredUp and Poshmark as well as Reformation, Rebag and The Real Real, among others.
Hali’s detailed report also examined the impact of technology, such as artificial intelligence, on retail and fashion as well as how influencers and social media continue to evolve and impact business.