February 24, 2021

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The New Norm: How PPE Impacts This Year’s Gift Trends



Wearing a stylish face mask can help reduce the chance of infectious cough and sneeze droplets from entering the mouth and further spreading the virus. DM Merchandising. 247dm.com

Wearing protective face masks has become the new norm throughout the U.S, influencing apparel, makeup trends and 2020 holiday shopping lists. In fact, 31 percent of holiday shoppers plan to give masks as stocking stuffers or gifts this year, according to The NPD Group Annual Holiday Study.

In terms of how and where consumers are shopping for masks, NPD’s Checkout data shows that e-commerce dominates dollar sales, but as stores reopened and more retailers entered the market with reusable options, e-commerce began to lose share. Warehouse clubs, specialty retailers and mass merchants have been the primary gainers in this shift, providing consumers with additional options for the holiday season.

Impact on Beauty and Fashion

“Masks have created a shift in our beauty behavior,” — Larissa Jensen, NPD beauty industry advisor.

Covering the nose and lips, face masks place greater emphasis on the wearer’s eyes. As a result, sales of lip makeup declined faster than all other makeup products year-to-date through September versus last year. By contrast, eye makeup saw the softest sales declines and gained market share. Meanwhile, setting sprays, which may help consumers solve the problem of keeping makeup in place, grew by an average of 9 percent month-over-month.

“While protective face masks focus attention on the eyes, we still want to keep the rest of our face looking good for when the mask comes off — not to mention keeping the mask itself free of smudges,” said Larissa Jensen, NPD’s beauty industry advisor. “Masks have created a shift in our beauty behavior, and elevated the categories that address the consumer’s new set of needs.”

Stylish Solutions

Known for its cozy slippers, Snoozies now makes masks for the whole family. buyersdirectonline.com

Problem-solving fashion is what has won with consumers over the last few years. Stretchy jeans, leggings with pockets, moisture-wicking activewear and belt bags are just a few examples of current consumer favorites. Now faced with the challenge of carrying a face mask and keeping it clean, consumers need even more practical options.

“The fashion industry once again has an opportunity to employ innovation to address consumer needs that complement this latest addition to our wardrobe,” said Maria Rugolo, NPD’s apparel industry analyst. “If masks continue to be a more permanent part of society, at least for the near future, we expect to see continued innovation in how we carry these items. There could be a greater need for pockets, especially for men and a potential opportunity for cargo shorts and pants to come back into style. While no one knows how long masks will be part of consumers’ everyday lives, helping them navigate these times as easily as possible will go a long way.”

For more on face masks, check out our editors’ picks gallery of stylish PPE.





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