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The EDITED COVID-19 Retail Dashboard: Monthly market analysis of global trends

The COVID-19 Retail Dashboard is powered by real-time data from the EDITED Market Intelligence Platform to understand the state of each major market.
The EDITED COVID-19 Retail Dashboard: Monthly market analysis of global trends | EDITED

Businesses will need data as an ally to make the best decisions for their trading category during these uncertain times while being as reactive as possible. So we created an interactive coronavirus retail dashboard for retailers to see the effects of the virus on the market in real-time and how regions are recovering from the pandemic. 

To support retailers with continuous lockdown restrictions in key regions, we’ve compiled a top-level analysis of the effects of COVID-19 on arrivals, discounts and sell outs over the past month.

Key takeaways

  • January sales were a central theme. The percentage of ranges discounted was higher than the past two years market-wide except in the US.
  • However, the US is concentrating on discounting deeper with an average reduction of 44%. Products were marked down the steepest here followed closely by the UK at 43%.
  • The cold snap combined with Valentine’s Day approaching aided the sell out activity of tights in the US and UK. Pajama bottoms and sweatpants were also sought after to stay warm indoors.
  • It can be theorized the increase in sell out activity YoY across several regions of products categorized as glasses/sunglasses is attributed to people spending more time on their screens due to COVID restrictions.

Reach out to a Retail Specialist to understand the methodology on how the dashboard was put together. 

US: Discount strategies are deep yet narrow compared to previous years

January arrivals fell below 2019 and 2020 levels.

coronavirus retail

Despite a traditionally peak time for reductions, the US had the lowest proportion of its assortment discounted at 50% – 3% lower than in 2020. In contrast, the US boasted the deepest average product discounts at 44%. This is in line with 2020 markdowns and 16% higher than in 2019.

Following the cold weather combined with outdoor dining still allowed in major cities, tights saw an uptick in sell outs. Customers looking to rug up indoors aided the sell outs of pajama bottoms – up 64% YoY.

Products with the most sell out activity YoY

% year-on-year increase outlined

  • Tights +78%
  • Pajama Bottoms +64%
  • Glasses/Sunglasses +58%
  • Sweatpants +57%

UK: Comfort-centric sell outs and bullish discounting

Arrivals dropped to a two-year low, 23% less than 2020.

coronavirus retail

The region discounted the most aggressively, 55% of ranges were marked down, 6% higher YoY. Slightly behind the US, the average reduction rate in this market was 43% – in line with 2019 and 2020 levels.

Faced with Lockdown 3.0, Brits continued to invest in products to inspire comfort. Tights also saw an uptick in activity, mirroring trends from the first lockdown almost a year ago, which saw lingerie as a top-selling category.

Products with the most sell out activity YoY

% year-on-year increase outlined

  • Pajama sets +112%
  • Tights +78%
  • Bath robes +55%
  • Sweatpants +43%

Germany: YoY arrivals are more closely aligned than any other market

New arrivals have been unstable throughout the pandemic, a theme that has carried through to 2021. For January, Germany was the only region to hold YoY arrivals at 2020 levels, showing only a 1% variance.

coronavirus retail

Closely behind the UK, 54% of assortments were reduced in this region – a greater proportion than during last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Average discount depths were also high at 38%, on par with 2020 levels and 7% higher than in 2019.

A mix of products spanning comfort, cold-weather and WFH trends aided sell out activity this month.

Products with the most sell out activity YoY

% year-on-year increase outlined

  • Hats +109%
  • Glasses/Sunglasses +106%
  • Pajama Sets +105%
  • Tech or Miscellaneous Accessories +89%

China: All-time high discount proportions and low arrivals

As per the majority of the market, online product arrivals in China dropped compared to the previous two years. Recording the largest discrepancy, arrivals were 51% lower than in 2020.

coronavirus retail

Despite approaching Chinese New Year where mass discounting isn’t traditionally associated, the proportion of ranges reduced surged to a two-year high of 51%. This indicates a knee-jerk reaction to 2020’s results, which saw retail sales contract almost 4% as reported by CNBC.

Products with the most sell out activity YoY

% year-on-year increase outlined

  • Tech or Miscellaneous Accessories +71%
  • Hair Accessories +64%
  • Sneakers +44%
  • Glasses/Sunglasses +43%

Want to understand the methodology behind the EDITED COVID-19 Retail Dashboard e.g. what are sold-out actions? Read our FAQ.

See our guide on how retailers can prepare for the second wave of COVID-19 and stay up-to-date with the latest analysis on the retail industry by signing up for our weekly Insider Briefing.