With the economy recovering and unemployment is at a 5 year low, will apparel sales trends see an increase? Will people be spending more resulting in opportunities for apparel and clothing brand sales reps to increase? Read on to find out.
Early Apparel and Clothing Sales Indications
Retail spending at the end of 2013 looked relatively strong. Unfortunately for the apparel industry, that strength was concentrated on pricier items, like furniture and appliances, and less so on clothes. Does this mean apparel will struggle in 2014? It’s hard to say as other indications, such as this Buxton report, suggest that apparel spending more or less reflects the economy as a whole.
Online Sales Continue to Grow
For the apparel sales rep, contacting stores and possible distributors with an online presence is more important than ever. Where storefront apparel sales only grew by 0.2% annual over 2001-2011 according to Buxton, e-commerce and online sales grew by 18.2%. Online sales are taking over an increasingly greater share of the billions of dollars in the apparel market. Reaching customers online, and promoting products aggressively online, are important things to look for now from apparel sales reps.
Under Armour and Lululemon are practically ubiquitous these days, as sportswear has captured the imagination and pocketbooks of many American households. According to the AP, workout clothes are selling faster than items like jeans and blouses. In 2013 workout clothing spending increased by 7%, to $31.6 billion, while other types of clothing sales only rose 1%. And everyone is in on the action, from more expected names like Nike to designers like Calvin Klein.
In fact, sportswear is now chic. Retailers are riding a tidal wave of interest in men and especially women presenting themselves as healthy and active in all phases of life. People are willing to shell out dollars to look good while they work out. Nike has added $1 billion in revenue over the past 4 years in women’s sportswear, in part because of this trend. If you are looking for apparel sales representatives jobs, work, lines, you name it, workout clothes should be on your radar as an item to add to your portfolio.
What do you see as being a big seller in apparel this year? Let us know in the comments!