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5 key apparel items imported by USA post-Covid in H1 ’21


Amidst business uncertainties, there are apparel products the import of which (by USA) remained positive in H1 ’21, not just over H1 ’20, but also as compared to pre-COVID period H1 ’19 and that has added to the delight of the retail and manufacturing industry to some extent. Apparel retail market has taken a worse hit and pandemic woes have stretched longer than the retailers had initially expected. Consumers are still spending cautiously on apparel items, especially in USA that’s the largest apparel retail market in the world, and future projections in the market aren’t on-point! Amidst these uncertainties, there are apparel products the import of which remained positive in H1 ’21, not just over H1 ’20, but also as compared to pre-COVID period H1 ’19 and that has added to the delight of the retail and manufacturing industry to some extent.

Underwear

US consumers have been staying at home for over a year-and-a-half now, working from home, meeting people virtually and going out only occasionally. That’s what justifies the rise in undergarment imports of US buyers. In H1 ’21, USA imported US $ 2.01 billion worth of underwear as compared to US $ 1.86 billion in H1 ’19, growing 7.52 per cent on 2-year’s YTD period basis. The import values have seen a surge of 70.96 per cent if compared with H1 ’20, indicating market of underwear in the country is on an upward trajectory. India’s share – As far as India’s contribution is concerned, it grew US $ 9.26 per cent in H1 ’21 over H1 ’19 and clocked US $ 176.70 million revenues that’s 8.80 per cent of total US underwear import values.

Foundation Garments/Shapewear

The USA lingerie market size, according to IBISWorld, is US $ 6.20 billion in 2021, 20 per cent of which is contributed by foundation garments or shapewear to be precise. This market is projected to grow by over 4.40 per cent from 2021 onwards as changing lifestyle of US women consumers is incurring increased spending on fitness and related accessories, which has positively impacted the market growth. The import data of shapewear has also supported the projection and USA’s import value in the category reached US $ 1.37 billion in H1 ’21 as compared to US $ 1.23 billion in H1 ’19, noting 11.70 per cent growth on 2-year basis. Moreover, the availability of a wide range of products, such as control camisoles, corsets, body shapers, singlets, and body briefs, is likely to boost the market growth even more in the USA in months to come.

Kidswear

Of all those products that have seen growth in the US apparel market so far in 2021, kidswear is the one that has remained promising for long-run. The country has crossed pre-COVID levels in its kidswear import as the import valued US $ 1.10 billion during the first 6-month period of 2021, as compared to US $ 1.05 billion in H1 ’19, increasing by 4.89 per cent! The growth is attributed to rising momentum in back-to-school shopping in the USA, before that the growth came from clothing that were purchased by parents for their kids’ virtual classes. India’s share – India remained ahead of its Asian counterparts such as Bangladesh and Vietnam in kidswear exports to USA and clocked US $ 172.79 million in H1 ’21, growing at the rate of 30.56 per cent as compared to H1 ’19. This is one category where the growth prospects are even brighter for the exporters and they shouldn’t let it slip in coming months.

Nightwear

Nightwear has become a ‘darling’ product category for end-consumer to wear during COVID-19 era. And, as a result, USA has seen growth – though marginally – in its import value of nightwear products in H1 ’21 as compared to H1 ’19…US nightwear buyers imported US $ 870.07 million worth of nightwear products in H1 ’21, up significantly by 38.50 per cent from H1 ’20 when the value stood at just US $ 628.19 million, and by 0.79 per cent from H1 ’19.

Dressing Gowns

The surprise addition to the list is dressing gown! At a time when consumers are saving money to keep it for necessary commodities, the import of dressing gown – a high-fashion product – by USA valued US $ 284.93 million, which is 7.30 per cent more than what it had valued in H1 ’19. The reason may be the held-up events (due to gathering restrictions) from 2020 that took place in the first half of 2021.


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