Retail

Comfort is en vogue during coronavirus: PJ sales surge 143%, pants sales fall 13%

Key Points
  • Sales of pajamas online surged 143% in April compared with March, according to data from Adobe Analytics. 
  • Sales of pants fell 13%, as people turned to video conference calls, where only tops are visible. 
  • Many apparel companies have been trying to play up the comfort-cozy trend online during the coronavirus crisis. 
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Comfort is clearly en vogue during the coronavirus crisis. 

Online sales of pajamas surged 143% in April from March, while purchases of pants fell 13% and bra sales declined 12%, according to data from Adobe Analytics, which tracks transactions from 80 of the top 100 U.S. retailers.

Consumers look to be gearing up for warmer weather, too — with many likely eager to get outdoors and soak up some sunshine. Sales of shorts on the internet shot up 67% in April, and T-shirt sales jumped 47%, Adobe found. 

Online apparel sales overall in April increased 34% from March, according to Adobe. 

The surge might not come as a surprise, given apparel retailers across the country had to shut their doors for most, if not all, of last month to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Many, such as Macy's, started closing up shop in mid-March, pivoting their marketing efforts to winning sales on the web. 

Ever since consumers started hunkering down at home, apparel companies have been trying to play up the comfort-cozy trend. A recent Nordstrom promotional email reads: "Cute shoes to wear at home or around the block." Athletic apparel company Bandier has been marketing outfits: "Cook in your sweats." J.Crew has a "Staying-In" shop on its website. Clothing rental service Rent the Runway has sections on its app for "Night In" outfits, "Fresh Air Essentials" and "Perfect Zoom Tops." 

"True fashion players that don't have athleisure could take a hit," NPD Group fashion analyst Beth Goldstein said about casual-wear going mainstream. "The results of this [pandemic] could end up becoming a little bit more of the norm." 

Walmart has also hinted at sales of bottoms being down during the crisis. 

"Talking about people [using] Zoom, and doing those types of conferencing, we're seeing increased sales in tops, but not bottoms," Dan Bartlett, Walmart's executive vice president of corporate affairs, said in an interview with Yahoo Finance at the end of March. "People ... are concerned, obviously, from the waist up. These behaviors are going to continue to change and evolve as people get accustomed to this new lifestyle." 

U.S. e-commerce sales have been up an average of about 49% daily, according to Adobe, from April 1 to April 23 compared with a baseline period of March 1 to March 11. 

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