U.S. apparel sales fall by 19% in 2020: NPD

fashionnetwork 2021.feb.19th





Apparel sales in the United States declined by 19 per cent in 2020, according to a survey by The NPD Group, which found sales of comfy cozy categories like sweatpants increased by 17 per cent, those of sleepwear rose by 6 per cent, and those sports bras grew by 10 per cent during last year. Fashion footwear sales declined by 27 per cent during the year.

Due to the ‘work from home’ trend, tailored clothing, dresses and dress shoes, which were already losing share to more comfort-oriented attire pre-pandemic, were hit particularly hard in 2020, the survey found. In footwear, fashion sneaker sales also declined year on year, although at a much softer rate than the overall category.


Regardless of whether consumers adopt more permanent work-from-home routines or go back to the workplace, demand for fashion with elements of comfort will stick around for the long term. Seventy per cent of consumers in an NPD survey reported that once they can return to work and other activities, they plan to dress just as or more casually than they did prior to the pandemic. NPD’s ‘Future of Footwear’ report forecasts that in 2021 the fashion category will recuperate, though it will regain less than half of the volume it lost in 2020.

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