A favorite choice of gift-givers this holiday season? New clothes. The apparel category had its biggest year-over-year performance since 2010.
According to recent data from Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks retail spending across all payment methods, total holiday apparel sales in the US rose 7.9% over 2017. Overall, retail sales in 2018 were up 5.1% to more than $850 billion.
Research conducted by Field Agent in September 2018 found that clothes and footwear were among the top gifts US parents planned to give their children for the holidays.
More recently, a survey of nearly 7,000 US consumers, conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) from December 3 through December 12, found that more than half (53%) of shoppers said they had already purchased clothing as gifts. To put that in perspective, more US consumers gave clothes as gifts than gift cards (38%), video games, books and movies (32%) or electronics and computer-related accessories (23%).
Similarly, Amazon reported that apparel—specifically athleisure—was a “holiday gifting favorite” and cited adidas, Columbia and Nike as some of the most-selected fashion brands added to Amazon Wish Lists. That comes as no surprise—apparel continues to benefit from strength in the activewear sector, where companies including Nike, adidas and Under Armour increasingly compete outside their core market.