Sales of flip-flops, swimwear surge during pandemic's summer months: reports

The future of retail amid coronavirus

International Council of Shopping Centers CEO Tom McGee discusses how the coronavirus is impacting the retail landscape.

Sales of and searches for summer fashion staples like flip-flops and swimsuits are said to have surged this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic, as shoppers stick closer to home and keep it more casual.

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With extended work-from-home orders and “staycations” defining summer 2020 for millions, people are allegedly altering their personal dress codes for the new normal. Since June, searches for flip-flops have surged 53%, while demand for the Havianas brand is up 89% month over month, The Guardian reported on Saturday, citing fashion global search engine Lyst.

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Sales of and searches for summer fashion staples like flip flops and swimsuits are said to have surged this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic, as shoppers stick closer to home and keep it more casual. (iStock)

“With remote work more popular than ever, buying patterns no longer have to center around office attire or what someone’s workplace might deem acceptable,” Jesse Burnett, co-founder of the Tkees footwear brand, told the outlet. “Today, consumers are buying what they want to wear, rather than what they have to wear.”

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According to WWD, swimwear sales are also bubbling back up after taking a plunge when the pandemic first hit.

Recent data from NPD Group Inc. indicated that swimwear sales dropped 21% for the second quarter as compared to last year, with women’s retail accounting for 80% of the drop. But in the following months through June, swim sales only fell in the single digits and “grew substantially month to month,” WWD reported.

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“People may not be traveling, but they might be enjoying pools and beaches at home. Inflatable pools and above-ground pools were up by triple digits in April and May,” said Kristen Classi-Zummo, the research group’s director of market insights for apparel.

In South Miami, one boutique owner speculated that canceled vacations – and a digital Miami Swim Week – caused business to boom at her local store.

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“My customers are non-stop shopping,” explained Jessica Sierralta, owner of Mermaids Swimwear Boutique.

Responding to the “slim pickings” available on the market during this unusual summer, Sierralta found success with home deliveries and in-store appointments (when retail reopened in Miami) for what WWD describes as a “wealthy” clientele.

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