Abhinav Chandra reflects on the fall of sales during the pandemic, provides a sales forecast on the coming holiday season, and offers advice on actions fashion companies should take now.
Tackling the dual threat of COVID-19 and climate change; a data-driven action plan for retailers to adapt quickly to changing consumer purchasing behavior.
It has been an eventful few months since we last published our forecast on May 13th 2020. We have seen the slowdown of COVID-19 cases in May/June and lifting of lockdowns, the resurgence of cases, the economy rebounding quickly, but then growth slowing, and everything in between. Unfortunately for the US fashion market, our forecasted 31% year-over-year sales decline in 2020 Q1-Q2, has proved to be accurate with an actual decline of 32%. In addition, the trend so far in Q3 is in-line with our prediction of 21% decline year-over-year. Our latest forecast continues to mirror our May forecast and we forecast 34% decline year-over-year in sales in Q4. The decline is driven by a forecasted spike in COVID-19 cases/deaths and warmer than usual winter with a corresponding decrease in cold weather category sales. These conditions will make for a holiday season like no other. To deal with these conditions, Fashion Retailers and Brands will need to think creatively and act quickly to survive.
Our accurate 2020 Q1-Q2 forecast validates our data and modeling
We predicted 31% sales decline year-over-year for 2020 Q1-Q2 with the actual decline 32% as per the Retail Monthly Sales data from US Census Bureau. More importantly, for 2020 Q2, we had forecasted a sales decline of 52% year-over-year versus an actual decline of 48%. In addition, Q3 sales are on track with our Q3 forecast of 21% sales decline as August and September sales have declined by 20%.
We attribute the accuracy of our forecast to our artificial intelligence based modeling and automated use of data including mobility, online traffic, and weather data at scale which are underlying factors driving demand.
Points in this article include:
- Expand Black Friday to Black November with focus on e-Commerce
- Prepare for e-commerce order delivery challenges
- Invest in increased automation in sales planning and inventory management
Read the full article, Fashion companies’ guide to navigating an unusual and unprecedented Holiday season, on Predict.SYS.Inc.com