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Insight | Time: Apr 27 2021 10:27AM
US apparel retail sales in Mar showed the steepest increase since pandemic
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In March, some positive factors led to a surge of shopping in the United States. US retail sales jumped by 9.8% over February and 27.7% year-on-year. Sales value of clothing and accessories rose by 18.3% month-on-month and surged by 101.1% over the same period last year. Compared with March 2019, value of US apparel retail sales saw a slight increase of 2.3 percentage point, indicating that the US market has rapidly recovered to the level before Covid-19 outbreak.

Economic rescue plan and vaccination boost consumer confidence

US passed the new $1.9 trillion rescue bill last month, bringing optimism to the retail industry in the coming months. At the same time, as part of the rescue bill, the government has ramped up COVID-19 inoculations, testing and contact tracing, which, to a certain extent, tempers shoppers鈥 anxieties about returning to stores and boosts consumer confidence.

With the warmer temperature in spring and summer, the pandemic infectivity reduced. Coupled with continuous vaccination, it is expected to maintain the trend of economic recovery in the next few months. 鈥淪trong performance in the retail and services sector will lead our nation's economic recovery from the pandemic,鈥 said Tom McGee, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers. 鈥榃e鈥檙e hopeful that warming weather and ongoing vaccine rollout will sustain momentum into the summer months and help the economy return to pre-pandemic levels.鈥

The latest report on unemployment claims from the labor department has raised hopes for a rebound in the economy. The report showed that the seasonally adjusted number of initial jobless benefits for the week ending April 10 was 576000, the lowest level since outbreak, down sharply from the total number of unemployed in the previous week.

Monthly sales of fashion shops increased significantly year-on-year

Last year, due to the lockdown, many clothing stores in shopping centers were closed. As a result, pent-up demand increased spending in this segment. In March, the sales value of clothing and accessories rose by 18.3% month-on-month and 101.1% year-on-year, making it the industry with the largest growth.

US department stores and large supermarket chains also continued to grow in Mar, with department stores growing by 13% month-on-month and 25.6% year-on-year, and large supermarkets up by 9% month-on-month and 31.2% year-on-year, both of which were significantly higher than the growth rates in Jan and Feb 2021. The passenger flow of large supermarkets and discount stores (such as Target, Best Buy, Lowe's, Home Depot, Dick's Sporting Goods) moved up. Meanwhile, the customer flow of clothing brand chain retailers (such as American Eagle and Urban Outfitters) also increased.

Apparel and sporting goods stores led surge in March retail sales amid pandemic recovery

In March, in terms of retail sales, the largest year-on-year growth was in clothing stores, with an increase of 101.1%. The growth of home furniture stores was still rapid, with a year-on-year increase of 46.8%. The growth of e-commerce retail remained stable, up 28.7% year-on-year. As a new round of stimulus checks hit shoppers鈥 bank accounts, sporting goods and hobby stores saw sales advance 23.5%. Clothing and accessories stores, meanwhile, saw an improvement of 18.3%. What鈥檚 more, home furniture store recorded a 5.9% hike in sales, while sales at e-commerce retail were up 6%.
[RISK DISCLAIMER] All opinions, news, analysis, prices or other information contained on this report is provided by analyst of Zhejiang Huarui Information Consulting Co., Ltd (CCFGroup) as general market commentary and does not constitute investment advice. CCFGroup will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to, any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information.
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