NPD: Smaller Categories Help Drive 4% Increase in 2013 Women’s Apparel Sales

In Industry News, What's New by Accessories Staff

Port Washington, NY—Total U.S. women’s apparel retail sales grew 4% in 2013, propelled by smaller niche categories that drove the gains, reported The NPD Group Inc., a global information company, today.

Total women’s apparel sales reached $116.4 billion in 2013, up from $112.3 billion  in 2012. Double-digit increases in some of the smaller apparel segments—those producing less than $10 billion in annual sales—drove the gains. Among them was outerwear, which increased 12% to $6.3 billion.

“Winter 2013/14 was one of the longest and coldest winters in recent history, so the spike in sales of cold weather clothing comes as no surprise,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD.  “If this winter is any indication of what we can expect in the future, retailers will need to make sure they’re prepared to handle consumer demand.”

npdNot only were women dressing for warmth last year, they were also dressing for success. Thanks in large part to double-digit dollar gains of jackets/blazers and suit separates, annual dollar sales for tailored clothing reached $4 billion, an 11% increase over 2012. Complementing the “dress up” trend, dollar sales for tights grew 33%  in 2013.

Even though the stores benefitting the most in 2013 from total women’s apparel sales were off-price retailers and warehouse clubs, there were some bright spots within some other channels. Strong sales of outerwear and tailored clothing influenced the increased sales in department stores and mass merchants.

About The NPD Group

The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining data assets with unmatched industry expertise, NPD helps clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food/foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games.