Denim woes subside as US jeans market sales grow 4% in 2016
Don’t call it a comeback. According to the NPD Group, the $13.5 billion US women’s and men’s jeans market grew 4% in 2016, adding further evidence that consumers are fatigued by athleisure.
Reuters reported in March that athleisure sales are expected to grow at 5.2% in 2017, which is slower than the average 6.9% rate that it had grown in the previous five years.
In the denim world, US sales increased driven by women’s jeans that launched in 2016 and 2015 and accounted for 70% of the units sold in 2016. Women’s jeans that launched in 2013 or earlier represented 19% of the units sold in 2016, but were also responsible for over a third of the dollar losses for the year.
Men’s jeans that launched in 2013 or earlier had an adverse effect on the market, by representing 67% of the units sold in 2016, but it was also responsible for 69% of the dollar losses in 2016.
“Jeans are representative of retail as a whole – newness and innovation drives growth while the basics maintain volume,” said NPD Group Chief Industry Analyst Marshal Cohen. “Denim manufacturers and retailers are realising the importance of striking a balance between giving consumers the features they know and love, and introducing them to some new elements they didn’t know they needed.”
Cohen added that the manufacturers must add new product offerings to break consumers’ shopping habits and drive the market.
The market may be way ahead of Cohen in this regard. The 19th edition of the Denim Première Vision trade show in April debuted technological innovations and sustainable, ecological approaches to denim that build on Levi’s and Google’s connected jacket.
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