How top online apparel merchants fared in 2021 and 2022

How top online apparel merchants fared in 2021 and 2022

The 242 online apparel merchants in the Top 1000 have fared well the past two years and have held their own compared with the overall Top 1000 online retailers.

In 2021, the Top 1000 apparel category grew online sales 17.4% year over year to reach $124.40 billion in global web sales. For 2022, Digital Commerce 360 projects the category to grow 8.3% year over year, to reach $134.67 billion in global web sales.

This is faster than the overall Top 1000, which grew 15.7% year over year in 2021, and is projected to grow 4.1% in 2022.

With many stores and fitting rooms closed during the pandemic, apparel shoppers went online to buy in greater numbers than ever before, which increased online apparel sales overall while store-based apparel stores dropped.

While online apparel sales grew faster than typical for the category during the pandemic, apparel sales did not surge in 2020 like other categories, such as home goods, mass merchants or sporting goods. The online apparel category grew 27.0% year over year in 2020, compared with a 44.9% growth for the overall Top 1000.

Because sales didn’t boom like in other categories, there is less of a hangover for apparel in 2021 and 2022 than in other categories. For example, shoppers who purchased a sweater in 2020 may purchase another in 2021 and in 2022. But the same is not true for a couch or treadmill.

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