With casual Friday expanding to casual everyday, as well as the increase in the work-from-home employees, the office has turned from a fashion parade to unceremonious sofa-wear slouch. But even a casual stroll down the street shows that dressing down is the new normal.
So, who is buying clothes? Looking at census figures for the last 10 years (pre-recession and post-recession) and we found surprising data. Apparel sales in clothing and accessory stores have actually increased YOY (except for a brief stall mid-recession). Starting in 2006, clothing and accessory store sales totaled $213MM. In 2016 the same category reported $258MM, a healthy uptick. The fact is that the apparel category is well and good—sales just aren’t coming from established mall department stores.
A decade of viewing luscious food-porn on television and Instagram has created foodie culture’s intrusion into your wallet. Whether you’re dining out or getting home delivery of truffle-infused delights, the upswing in interest and passion for all things edible is eating into retail figures.
A downpour of liquid libation has accompanied our foodie culture. Add a few bottles of craft beer during the week, and those couple of bottles of premium whiskey on the shelf to your tab and you’ve got a hundred more dollars a week of outflow.
And after wiping the EVOO from your chin, there’s home entertainment—a $700 phone, tablet, and e-reader. And when we fuel these items with content, (cable TV, on-demand movies, e-books, and music) the dollars sneak out of our wallet, and they’re not being spent in stores.
According to census data, food services and drinking places outpace clothing and accessories sales 2:1. And the increase in spending is noteworthy. In 2006, we were spending $423MM at food and drinking places; by 2010 the figure was $467MM; by 2016 the figure stood at $660MM — an increase of 41% in ten years.