COVID-19 Jan 8, 2021 6 min read

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

How the EDITED interactive charts give retailers global insights into the COVID-19 pandemic with real-time data.

coronavirus retail

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

  • To close out the most disruptive year in modern history, online retailers focused on ramping up their discount strategies to clear through old stock and generate sales. US and Australian retailers reduced the largest proportion of assortments, between 61%-65%.
  • With many regions still experiencing lockdown, most markets held the average discount amount offered over Cyber Month. Germany and Australia actually discounted deeper this month than during Black Friday.
  • Newness in December dropped YoY across all regions except Spain. Retailers held off flooding the market during the heavy discounting period, planning to ring in 2021 with fresh ranges.
  • The most successful products this month were mixed. Small stocking stuffers resonated with the festive period while comfort dressing prevailed as lockdowns extended. On the other end of the spectrum, loungewear alternatives helped satisfy consumers’ yearning to dress up as a form of escapism – an ongoing trend to watch for 2021.

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

US: Gifting categories see an uplift in sell out activity

Arrivals have fallen 17% MoM yet are closely aligned with December 2019 deliveries showing only a 1% discrepancy.

coronavirus retail

2020 ended with bullish promotions to clear through stock – the average discount depth held at Cyber Month levels at 40%. The proportion of products reduced fell slightly MoM and YoY, yet with 61% of assortments marked down, retailers in this region were discounting the second-highest percentage of their ranges, eclipsed only by Australia.

As the festive season approached, products that make ideal gifts and transcend pocket-friendly price points like sunglasses and frames or hair and tech accessories saw increased YoY sell outs.

Products with the most sell out activity YoY

% year-on-year increase outlined

  • Hair accessories +185%
  • All in ones +177%
  • Tech or misc accessories +175%
  • Glasses/sunglasses +155%

UK: A juxtaposition of dressing for comfort and escapism

Following November’s influx of newness, arrivals sharply dropped 30% MoM and 9% YoY.

coronavirus retail

Cyber Monday’s average discounting depths of 40% held as tougher lockdown rules enforced ahead of Christmas forced retailers to extend their festive discounts online. Despite this, the inflated proportion of products discounted in November was pulled back from 61% to 56%.

Even with New Year’s celebrations confined to homes, bodycon dresses saw an increase in sell out activity YoY. Consumer appetite to dress up again is growing and loungewear alternatives post-pandemic will be particularly sought after in this region, which is first to enter Lockdown 3.0. Cozy dressing remained essential, with bathrobes seeing the highest percentage increase in sell outs this month.

Products with the most sell out activity YoY

% year-on-year increase outlined

  • Bathrobes +129%
  • Boots +127%
  • Glasses/sunglasses +127%
  • Bodycon dresses +126%

Germany: Higher discounts than Cyber Month

Arrivals were 11% up YoY but followed 2019’s downwards trajectory, declining 20% MoM.

coronavirus retail

With Germany locked down over Christmas, retailers implemented a more aggressive discounting strategy compared to Black Friday sales. The proportion of products marked down saw an upwards swing to 56%. The average reduction rate rose to 36% as retailers slashed prices to drive online traffic and clear through stock before the end of the year.

Unsurprisingly, indoor products that fell under the category of sleepwear saw the highest YoY increases in sell out activity – pajama bottoms, sets and nighties all had an uplift of over 150%.

Products with the most sell out activity YoY

% year-on-year increase outlined

  • Pajama bottoms +157%
  • Pajama sets +157%
  • Nighties +151%
  • Bodysuits +141%

Australia: Peak discounting month

Following the same trend over the past three months, arrivals continued to drop with new products down 21% MoM and YoY.

coronavirus retail

The Australian retail industry experienced a particularly turbulent 2020, having to recoup from not only the pandemic but a challenging bushfire season. This led to discounting for end of year sales experiencing an all-time high. The average discount depth sat at 41%, 21% higher than in 2019. At 65%, the proportion of reduced products was greater than at the peak of the pandemic.

Australian consumers were able to enjoy a relatively normal Christmas and New Year’s Eve compared to other analyzed regions. This was reflected in the products experiencing the highest sell out activity, with interest growing in dresses and boots.

Products with the most sell out activity YoY

% year-on-year increase outlined

  • Maxi dresses +278%
  • Bodycon dresses +245%
  • Boots +245%
  • Leggings +236%

Spain: Arrivals sit above 2019 and discount proportions drop

Though down 24% MoM, Spain was the only region this month to maintain an increase in arrivals YoY with a 6% uptick.

coronavirus retail

Average discount depths saw little change MoM and YoY. However, Spain recorded the lowest percent of assortment reduced at 36%, 15% lower than in 2019 and experiencing a significant drop MoM.

With several regions in Spain experiencing tough Christmas and New Year’s Eve restrictions, the top-performing products online were varied and spanned essentials such as bras, daywear like jeans and items for the home wardrobe such as slippers.

Products with the most sell-out activity YoY

% year-on-year increase outlined

  • Bras +233%
  • Slippers +202%
  • Shorts +198%
  • Jeans +189%

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.