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Consumers look to rebuild their wardrobe post-pandemic

After a year of wearing the same joggers to work on Zoom calls— and essentially going nowhere during the pandemic — signs are emerging that consumers are starting to rebuild their very outdated closets with new clothes for their post vaccination life this year. Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi shares the details.

Video Transcript


MYLES UDLAND: All right. Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. We have heard the rumblings of this throughout the program, Brian Sozzi, but you're buying clothes. People buying clothes. I know it's a theme that you're really on here as the retailers start to see their business thaw. And I guess I should say, retailers that are not Lululemon are starting to see their business thaw out a bit as the pandemic maybe starts to get to something like a conclusion.

BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah and I'm on this one, Myles and Julie. Because the market, Mr. Market is on it. Look at some of these moves in these apparel stocks over the past month. Abercrombie and Fitch, one month up 17%, Levi's up 22%.

PVH, that's essentially Philips Van Heusen, up 23%, Urban Outfitters up 30%, Kontoor Brands up 32%. They make Wrangler and Lee jeans. And I think why this is now starting to happen, folks are going back out there to the stores or more likely shopping online and starting to rebuild their outfits for taking trips in the spring and summer.

And now I put that question to the CEOs of Abercrombie & Fitch and Kontoor Brands yesterday, who we had on. I put those questions to both those CEOs this week. Are people going out shopping? Here's what they said.

FRAN HOROWITZ: We are pleased. If you saw our plan for the first quarter, we're looking to grow sales 30% to 40% over last year. Again, our product is continuing to resonate. We're going to continue to lean into digital.

There's still some unknowns out there. We mentioned this morning as well, we still have some store closures and some limitations within some of the stores that are open. But pleased with where we are. Strong product resignation by the consumer.

SCOTT BAXTER: We really are where the consumer's going to be in the future. Because the casualization of the globe is happening, it's happened and it's accelerating really quickly. And we sit in a really good place globally, relative to how people and where we're going to meet the consumer on their journey.

BRIAN SOZZI: So Julie-- Julie, there's only so many joggers you can wear. We've essentially been wearing the same clothes to work, out of our kitchens, out of our bedrooms for the past year. And now, realistically, as we start to venture back out into the wild, after we get our vaccines, we're going to need new clothes. Styles have changed the past year. We have to get back out there and work the old credit card.

JULIE HYMAN: Here's my push back against that. You haven't worn all your other stuff over the past year. So when you go to it, isn't it going to seem fresh because you haven't worn it this whole time? It's like having new clothes, because they're new after pulling out of the closet for a year.

So I wonder how that's going to affect the cycle. But the Holy Grail, mark my words, the Holy Grail is going to be a combination of some kind of fusion between what Myles likes to call soft pants and going out clothing. Like, nobody-- I don't care how many new clothing pieces you're buying.

Who wants to squeeze into skinny jeans at this stage, right? If there is a retailer that can sell me a comfortable pair of going out pants, that is what I am going to want to be buying. I don't know. Like, for men too, Myles, I know you want to stay in your soft pants forever, right?

MYLES UDLAND: I mean, I have the solution. It's the Lululemon ABC five pocket pant. It's the jogger material. I have a couple of pairs. It's the jogger material, but it has like a regular waistband.

You wear a belt with it and all that. It's not perfect. I think they very clearly look like soft pants, but you could split the difference if you really had to, Julie. And quickly, I've thought a lot, because I've looked at my closet a lot since we're getting ready to pack it up. I've looked at my closet and I just-- I hate all my clothes.

Like, I know I haven't worn them in a while, but it just reminds me of like 2019. And I feel like I'm a different person. We've all seen a lot of things since then. My body hasn't really changed.

I'm not jacked up like Brian Sozzi is now, but I just feel like, when I start wearing clothes again, do I have to wear the same clothes? I mean, I guess I do. I'm not going to go spend money, but I definitely feel a little bit-- it's like anticlimactic to just put this pullover I've got on, on again.

BRIAN SOZZI: Well, Myles, I'm glad you brought up my jacked nature, because I'm not the only one dealing with this. I've been doing a year of Peloton. So I know my shoulders are big I'm busting out of these suits.

I mean, they look good on camera, but realistically, they don't fit very well and I'm not the only one. A lot of people have packed on the pounds eating all this frozen food and these burgers for the past year. They're going to New clothes or they can't go back to the office.

MYLES UDLAND: All right. Well, we'll see how this all plays out. And I know it's a trend, Brian Sozzi, that you'll stay on. Because you know, your body's changing, the market is changing. The market is telling you how things are changing.