The NPD Group released its results from its Consumer Tracking Service, which charts the U.S. apparel market, and the news is positive.
According to NPD, the U.S. apparel market grew 4 percent in 2011 to $199 billion.
“This is a marked improvement over the prior years,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “I believe this is testament to the use of sales and value pricing by retailers that did in fact get the consumer to respond. I think this also goes back to the ‘frugal fatigue’ phenomenon we have been watching. It seems to have materialized for apparel in 2011 as consumers finally got back to building their wardrobes again.”
The report indicates that men’s apparel grew 4 percent, women’s apparel grew by 3 percent and children’s apparel grew by 6 percent. Within these segments, standout categories that emerged were women’s dresses, which grew 17 percent in dollar volume sales in 2011, and women’s hosiery, which grew by 8 percent over 2010. Strong men’s categories include dress shirts (up 14 percent), suits (up 23 percent), sport coats (up 20 percent) and underwear (up 7 percent).
Drilling down further, the results suggest that manufacturer owned stores posted the highest growth rate (up 15 percent), while off-price and specialty stores grew 6 percent, department and national chain stores grew 3 percent and the mass merchant channel grew 1 percent.