Clothing sales nearly 400% down as consumers shop for home comforts instead

Clothing sales have fallen a staggering 374 per cent since the beginning of the pandemic as shoppers switched to purchasing home comforts.

A study carried out by e-commerce website Shopify, which now provides the ecommerce platform for 1.7 million retailers, has found spending habits have dramatically changed since the pandemic.

The study of over 100,000 merchants found that consumers swapped out clothing for home comforts like alcohol, confectionary and self-care items such as moisturisers while spending more time at home.

Activewear and swimwear have suffered as a result of gyms being forced to close and holidays being cancelled, with figures falling 67.8 per cent and 76 per cent individually.

Meanwhile self-care items such lotion and moisturisers rocketed 109 per cent as millions continued to work from home.

Alcohol saw an increase in popularity with pubs being closed, seeing a 97 per cent increase, followed by confectionary and baking ingredients, with the report observing 49 per cent and 35 per cent increases respectively.

Coffee sales saw a 64 per cent jump while tea sales have also seen a 38.3 per cent increase as consumers were finding ways of trying to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

READ MORE: How is the lockdown changing our shopping habits?

“The past year has been one of immense change and we have all had to adjust to spending more time at home,” Shopify managing director Shimona Mehta said.

“That has been reflected in what we are buying as we’ve looked for ways to unwind at home, whether that’s with a G&T or an at-home facial, as well as adapting to using the same space as an office and classroom.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has also listed dumbbells, hand sanitiser and smart watches in its ‘inflation basket’, a selection of goods used to calculate the cost of living.

ONS spokesperson Sam Beckett said: “The pandemic has impacted on our behaviour as consumers, and this has been reflected in the 2021 inflation basket of goods,

“The need for hygiene on the go has seen the addition of hand sanitiser, now a staple item for many of us.

Lockdown living has seen demand for home exercise equipment rise, while spending more time within our own four walls has also encouraged us to invest in smart technologies.”

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