In line with the expected strong demand for clothing and accessories, the shopping season back in school in 2021 will increase by 16 percent compared to last year’s clunker, according to research and consulting firm Customer Growth Partners.
It is expected to record a record high of $ 780 billion in the BTS season July to September, customer growth partners expected on Wednesday.
“After nearly a year of shutdown, consumers are back in stores in numbers we have not seen since 2019 – if so,” CGP President Craig Johnson said in a statement. “When bts trades at the start, consumers are flush with cash from a year of record savings, rising wages – and government stimulus – and are ready to unleash a full year of captured demand.”
Johnson said his company uses a “big data” retail platform and field survey that covers more than 100 shopping sites to track retail spending. CGP’s forecast for school-back-to-school spans all retail sales except cars, gasoline, restaurants, food and beverages and home improvement, based on Department of Commerce counting retail categories.
“On a two-year basis,” Johnson said, “the recovery in retail is even more surprising, with back-to-school spending rising 25 percent from 2019’s $ 624 billion pace, which in itself was a record. We have never seen growth in retail back to school so strongly in this century, and perhaps not since the post-war period of the early 1950s. Yet this year’s extraordinary growth in school may once again be the ‘high water’ mark for recovery, as consumer demand is for services from goods, as the hospitality, travel and entertainment sector is regaining share of the wallet from retailers. ”
For the full year, CGP initially expected 8.1 percent growth in retail sales in 2021, but then raised the forecast to 11.9 percent.
CGP recalled its bullishness, indicating that growth relative to the year will ease this fall as comparisons become more challenging and when the cost of services recovers. “Labor shortages, supply chain bottlenecks and consumer resistance to rising prices could also push sales in the second half of 2021,” Johnson said. “But the biggest uncertainty may be a return of COVID-19, perhaps as a variant that could dampen the spirit of consumers, just as holiday spending is waving.”
The CGP also predicted that:
- For the first time in decades, sales of apparel and accessories will surpass other merchandise sectors with “an astonishing 46 percent growth from 2020’s eerie sales.”
- Sporting goods, toy and hobby retailers will rise by 21 percent when millions of once-disused households return to normal recreational patterns.
- The COVID-19-induced focus on the home is lighter as consumers turn to the outdoors, travel and other leisure activities – though home decor will still increase 16 percent.
- As an important milestone, the growth of e-commerce will no longer exceed all merchandise sectors, but will still increase by more than 12 percent. Online bts sales will peak at $ 237 billion.
- Department stores will see their best growth in several years, an increase of 12 percent, although total sales are still delayed in recent years. “The past year has provided a unique window into the resilience of American consumers, the ingenuity of American retailers – and the underlying strength of the US economy in general,” Johnson said.