Denim Dominance: Jeans Get a Leg Up in Women’s Wardrobes
It’s in the jeans.
Denim is making a comeback in women’s wardrobes, according to The NPD Group Inc., a market research company.
After a decline in mid-2010, the women’s jeans category saw a sales gain of nearly 3 percent in 2010 compared with the previous year. During the three months ended February 2011, however, sales of women’s jeans sales were up almost 20 percent versus the same period a year earlier.
“The increase is primarily due to women buying more pairs of jeans and at higher price points,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD. “And with the influx of new styles this year, women may just need a few more pairs.”
Another in women’s apparel cited by NPD is “jeggings” – leggings made to look like tight denim jeans. Many jeggings are made of nylon, not denim, however. Sales of jeggings soared more than 200 percent in 2010, according to NPD.
As jeans rise in popularity, the growth of jegging sales may slow, Cohen said.
Other strong performers in the women’s apparel market in 2010 were skirts, up 15 percent compared with 2009; and tights, up more than 30 percent compared with 2009.
Meanwhile, sectors of women’s apparel to watch in 2011 include outwear and intimates, according to Cohen.
“Retailers need to really learn what consumers want and when they want it,” Cohen said. “Gone are the days when all consumers shop months in advance and buy the early trends months before they will wear the products. Consumers today want more ‘buy now, wear now’ product. Retailers and manufacturers need understand this and make the necessary adjustments.”
Sales of bras were up 6 percent during the three months ended in February 2011, compared with the same period a year earlier, while sales of panties fell 7 percent.
“Women were building their bra wardrobes early in 2010 and panties took a back seat,” Cohen said. “Then, as the bra market slowed with less innovation and new products, the ignored panties category introduced some newness and the female consumers’ pent-up demand as well as their need got them spending there again.”