Featured Dec 18, 2019 3 min read

Best of 2019: the most read retail stories

As the year's end draws closer, let's take a moment to roundup the retail stories and trends that mattered most to the industry this year.

retail 2020

As the year’s end draws closer, let’s take a moment to roundup the stuff that mattered most to the industry this year.

From strategy analysis, runway data crunching, trend tracking industry happenings and more. We’ve compiled our top five articles of the year that you read, shared and talked about. 

Where is activewear going?

New year, new me – the phrase everyone’s captioning their Insta’s with on January 1. In this report, we analyze how the activewear market has grown and where it’s going. 

Top takeaways: 

  1. Non-traditional sports retailers are launching their own activewear collections at more accessible price points creating competition for traditional activewear brands.
  2. Yoga pants are now a staple wardrobe piece as new ‘yoga leggings’ increased by 87% in 2018 vs. 2017.
  3. Pricing in traditional sports retailers typically maintained consistency despite some fluctuations.

Read it here: The transformation of activewear for 2019 

From East to West, a changing of the tides

We compare the diverse retail environments and global shifts in trends across four key markets including the US, UK, India and China. 

Top takeaways: 

  1. Activewear brands are turning their attention to the Indian market, which is experiencing growth as customers are willing to pay a premium for performance brands. 
  2. Although animal prints make up a majority of product sell outs in the US and UK mass market, it only translated to 8% of sell outs in China and was outperformed by graphic prints, which equaled 26% of sell outs. 
  3. As red is a lucky color in China, Fall 2018 red apparel made up 15% of sell outs. Whereas it only made up 10-11% of all sell outs in other regions. 

Read it here: 5 charts explaining the shifts in global fashion markets

Upending the lingerie market as we know it 

We can’t talk about the lingerie industry without two key words: diversity and inclusivity. So take a walk down memory lane with us to see what brands have done in the past and the direction they’re heading into now. 

Top takeaways: 

  1. Lightly lined wireless bras and lace triangle bralettes remain the popular styles to the masses. We saw a 14% sell out growth in wireless bras last year, compared to a 10% growth in push-ups. 
  2. Lingerie only makes up 2.4% of sustainable apparel assortments. Given consumers are looking to incorporate more eco-friendly apparel into their wardrobes, there’s room for opportunity considering we wear underwear everyday. 
  3. More brands are offering size-inclusive intimates – we tracked a 6% growth in plus size underwear in 2018.  

Read it here: 5 lingerie lessons we learned from 2018

The power of Instagram influencers 

Instagram influencer marketing makes up a $1.7 bn industry, where fashion trends are always bubbling out of the popular social media platform. Read up on which ones Instagram has influenced and driven to the mass market. 

Top takeaways: 

  1. Thanks to the Kardashian-Jenner clan’s Instagram posts featuring neon products, we saw a flood of new arrivals in highlighter hues at a whopping 743% compared to last year.
  2.  After an Instagram post of Kylie Jenner in a cow print swimsuit, the print increased 260% over the past three months compared to three months prior. 
  3. Brands such as Revolve and H&M use their league of influencers to expand their exposure to new audiences and further cementing a stronger sense of community on Instagram.  

Read it here: The Instagram effect: how influencers drive successful fashion trends

Lululemon’s secret formula for success

Despite the challenging retail climate, Lululemon continues to conquer the activewear space. In our analysis, we dive into exactly how the brand is so good at getting their pricing strategy right. 

Top takeaways: 

  1. Price consistency on core items remained stable since 2017. By doing so, customers are buying at full price and don’t expect reductions. 
  2. Lululemon has always maintained price integrity from the get-go. Even during peak sale periods, only a small proportion of products are discounted compared to other activewear retailers, allowing the retailer to clear through excess stock without markdowns eating into margins. 
  3. The activewear brand focuses on tried and tested styles – 18% of Lululemon product currently in stock has been replenished at least once. 

Read it here: Spotlight on Lululemon’s pricing strategy 

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our articles as much as we had writing them this year. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly Insider Briefing newsletter to stay up to date with our new articles tackling all the topical retail challenges in the new decade.