Pent-​Up Demand to Drive Apparel Purchases During 3Q

Women are likely to be replenishing their wardrobes in the third quarter.  In-​store sales of women’s clothing are expected to see a 9.2% increase in the third quarter of 2012 versus the year-​ago period, according to a recently released IBM analytics-​based forecast of U.S. retail sales data. The report predicts a 6.2% increase in sales of children’s clothing and a 5.2% increase in footwear. Men’s clothing, however, is forecast to lag, dropping 6.7%.

"As the economy starts to come back, there is some pent-​up demand for women in the clothing area because they haven't been spending on themselves as they have others," said Ellen Davis, senior vice president of the National Retail Federation.

The report comes on the heels of recent dismal consumer spending numbers.  Recent months have been tricky for retailers as sales stalled in June, marking the third consecutive month of falling retail sales, according to data released this week from the National Retail Federation.

"People have money," said Haydock, and retailers are wondering "how to pry that money free." "People's sentiments are going up and down, it's not on auto pilot by any means," said Michael Haydock, IBM chief scientist and author of the report.

For retailers to effectively tap into consumer desires, they need to deliver timely, hyper-​personalized promotions that will compel consumers to instinctively act on a deal.

[Source:  Survey conducted by IBM Global Business Services.  17 July 2012.  Web.  1 Aug. 2012.]