The Mastercard SpendingPulse report for March 2021 estimates apparel sales increased by 60.6 per cent compared to the same period last year, while department store sales jumped by 114.3 per cent. As per the report, compared to 2019, apparel sales increased 18.7 per cent, with department store sales rising by 0.1 per cent. Total retail sales, excluding autos and gas, rose by 26. 3 year-over-year and by14 per cent over 2019, says the report by Sourcing Journal. E-commerce sales increased 56.8 per cent year-over-year and 85.9 percent from two years prior.
Sale of furniture and furnishings jumped 64.8 per cent year-over-year and 26.9 per cent over 2019. Of all the shopping categories, jewelry spiked by 106.1 per cent year-over-year, and by 29.7 per cent compared with 2019. In a separate study conducted by the IBM’s Institute for Business, respondents said they were confident about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines, and expressed a desire to return to “normalcy” after getting their jab. However, companies may need to update their marketing and outreach to remain competitive and successfully engage customers due to different rules, personal preferences and social norms that developed last year, the survey added.
Nearly 54 per cent respondents to the IBM survey said, in-store promotions were the top factor that would drive consumers to the stores, especially Gen X consumers. Additionally, local products that aren’t available online, such as small batch food products and hand-made apparel, may attract nearly 50 percent of surveyed millennials, Gen X and boomers to shop in person.