One takeaway from this year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping extravaganza is that there will be a lot more sweaters and coats under the tree this year.
Shoppers are turning up at stores such as Lululemon, Abercrombie & Fitch, Old Navy and Urban Outfitters this holiday season to buy clothing for themselves and for others. It's a stark contrast from the years that followed the Great Recession, when cash-strapped consumers stuck to their budgets and bought only necessities. For many people, for many years, that meant less clothing. But now, the apparel industry seems to be bouncing back.
"What I saw [during Thanksgiving weekend] was a healthy environment, with lots of consumers walking through the mall with bags and energy," Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Fran Horowitz told CNBC late last month, after the company reported strong earnings. "For us, when we get that product right ... we have a strong response to that."
She said outerwear sales are trending higher so far during the fourth quarter, thanks to cooler temperatures finally hitting much of the country, in addition to "soft and cozy" items like sherpa hoodies and pajama sets flying off shelves.
According to Planalytics, November 2018 kicked off with cooler year-over-year temperatures for most of the inside of the country, and as the month went on, snow and ice started to hit the Plains and the East Coast.