2020 Winter Trend Forecast for Accessories—the Winner of Pandemic
In March, when coronavirus outbreak first hit the U.S., many forecasted that 2020 beauty supply industry would face hardship. However, a category in the beauty supply market has seen a rather boost of revenue; the category is of accessories. Through May, states shut down most businesses and issued stay-home orders. Since then, however, the economic stimulus checks and federal aid to unemployment benefits boosted the disposable income of many consumers, who eventually spent the money at local beauty supplies instead of going to largely empty shopping malls. Under these favorable conditions, many beauty supply storeowners say accessories led the sales. We interviewed accessory specialists for their recommendation of products for this winter and forecast for the market.
Region-by-Region Analysis of 2020 Accessories
[ Company A in the East and the South ]
“30% Growth in Sales Compared to Previous Year” After the stay-home order was lifted, there was an increase in number of customers who visited beauty supply stores, resulting in 30% growth in sales. There is no doubt that the best sellers were fashion masks and hair beads in the course of the pandemic. I think masks should have sold out everywhere, but hair beads, thanks to the increased popularity of braiding, made a substantial contribution to the growth. Large size has never been popular, but this year, we almost sold them out. It is increasingly popular among adults in addition to children.
[ Company B in the South ]
“Chinese Manufacturers Stumbled after Decimated Spring Sales” Unlike essential accessories, fashion accessories heavily rely on trends and thus new releases. Accordingly, they are sensitive to supply issues in China. Chinese manufacturers start producing items for next season in the beginning of a season, and the global pandemic caused them to stumble. Summer items that imported before the outbreak sold out, doubling the relevant revenue, but for winter items, supply did not catch up with the sales, resulting in lost opportunities in sales.
[ Company B in the Midwest ]
“Economic Stimulus Package and Unemployment Benefit Boosted the Sales” There is a saying that you run a business through the year thanks to the profit made during the tax season. This year, the $1,200 stimulus check invigorated the summer sales, and the extra $600 federal unemployment payment lasted through the end of July, which exceeded the usual duration of a tax season. Moreover, large shopping malls closed their doors, diverting customers to local beauty supply stores. Especially, accessories are understandably more prone to impulse buy because of its low price. In the Midwest, while many accessory vendors are located in Chicago, Texas and Michigan set the trend. They respond quicker than any other region to new products. Shipment from China has recovered almost to its normal status, but our first procurement of winter items that was expected to last two-to-three months were banished in a month.
[ Company D in the West ]
“The Busiest Year So Far” We bet almost every accessory company has been busy this year. Especially for accessories, the West coast leads the trend. For the same item, it runs a season ahead of the South. That leads to a quicker turnover for products. New products start to roll out from the West and through other regions. The same item that had been popular for 6 months to a year becomes a suddenly hot seller in countryside in the South. This year, masks were definitely the hottest item due to the COVID-19, but essential accessories and chemicals also saw increase in sales across the board. Among the chemicals distributed by accessory companies, hair growth oil has sold very well.
Hot Items for This Winter Picked by Accessory Specialists
This year’s fashion keywords are fashion mask, fur, and rhinestone. Some people even tout that any item containing fur or rhinestone will certainly sell. We examined specialists’ winter trend suggestions and items to hit the market.
01. Mask Chain
As the pandemic overstays with us surpassing most expectations, many people are learning to live with it. Like chains for shades and glasses, masks now have their own. When you eat or drink, you can simply hang the mask using a mask chain around your neck. Rhinestone or gold chains can be esthetically satisfying while making sure you do not dislocate your mask.
02. Rhinestone Mask & Bandana
To meet various needs of consumers, numerous types of fashion mask have debuted. Especially, masks decorated with rhinestone and masks made of sequin fabric are increasingly popular. Male consumers are often using bandana as a facial covering, so the increased sales of bandana should continue. Luxury brand (such as Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton) imitation products and NFL team masks should be dealt with caution with respect to intellectual property rights.
03. Padded Hair Band
Replacing rhinestone and pearl hairpins of the last year, thicker hair bands are trending. Starting in last summer, the trend brought out many products in the market already. The trend is likely to continue next season. A typical padded hair band features rhinestones, but the winter suggests various new designs including fur decoration and with logos. You will see many variations of previous styles this season.
04. Fancy Fur Accessories
As people cope with limited options for hair and makeup, they try to express their personality with accessories. This year, fur accessories are the key. For key chains, one of the most popular products features fluffy fur in fanciful rainbow color. Fuzzy bucket hat is a rising seller as a winter head-warming accessory.
05. Leg Warmer Slouch Socks and Rhinestone Fishnet Tights
Comfortable and warm, slouch socks are a winter essential. For African American customers who match the color to the overall outfit, you had better carry a wide range of colors. Slouch socks can be worn like half stocking by adjusting lengths, and they are great when worn over leggings or tights and styled with boots and sneakers. In the West with relatively moderate winter, fishnet stockings are popular. Especially, fishnet stockings with rhinestone will likely become a trend.
06. Hair Scarf & Ponytail Holder
Hair scarf can be worn to cover up hairlines to forego taming them, but it can be used as an edge scarf to finish hairline-do after the application of edge gel. Ponytail holders became popular in response to the popularity of ponytail hairdos. You can create a tidy ponytail without stray hairs, so its popularity should last for an extended time.
07. Upgraded Fur Slippers
Fur slippers are a steady seller throughout the year across the states. This year, the cost of production for winter boots in China has increased significantly, so relatively costly long boots should see some decline in sales. Shorter fur slippers instead of fluffy long-fur slippers are likely to become a trend. Fur slippers are getting heels, rhinestones, and double-straps for newer design as well as various fur colors. Especially, unicorn (rainbow) colors are selling well.
08. One-mile Look
The biggest change brought by COVID-19: Stay Home. As people spend more time at home, the demand for stylish but comfortable looks for short trips to groceries and places within a mile is on the rise. Bodyline-revealing track and sweat suits are going to sell. As the weather gets colder, products made of warmer fabrics such as knit and velvet are being added.
Accessory Market Forecast for 2021?
Most accessory companies expected the year of 2021 to be another favorable year. On the other hand, a handful of companies complained about supply strains in China that accounts for 90% of accessory supplies. Although the trade war between the U.S. and China made some impacts, they say that COVID-19 is the single-most potent factor. The decreased number of agents at the custom resulted in an average of month-long delay for container-full imported goods. Shortage of supplies or delayed distribution will trump whatever trend in the market. Consequently, a second stimulus package, US-China relationship after the November election, and the volume of the product supply should determine the vigor of the accessory market.
Trend_Accessories BY KYOUNGHYUN HAN
BNB Magazine DEC 2020 ©bnbmag.com