MIAMI — As the retail sector reels, swimwear is sitting pretty. It’s just the good news that vendors and buyers want to hear as they head to the annual Miami Swim Week, whose three trade shows — SwimShow, Hammock and Cabana — begin July 22.
Neck-and-neck with outerwear and ath-leisure for healthy sales, swimwear is one of the few categories still registering growth, according to The NPD Group Inc. The market research firm reported U.S. swimwear sales totaled $ 5 billion from the beginning of June 2016 through the end of May 2017, a 10 percent increase on the same period during the previous year. Innovative fit and fabrics, the wellness movement, and being an early, natural adapter to e-commerce are factors buoying the category when much of the apparel industry is sinking.
“The definitive message on the street is that swimwear is an unstoppable force,” said SwimShow director Judy Stein, of beach-to-boardwalk styles having reached critical mass popularity. “This trend has fueled both start-ups and established brands.”
Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for The NPD Group, further cited comfort, durability and improved sizing as reasons consumers feel confident in purchasing swimwear compared to sportswear with its fussier fits and come-and-go trends.
“There’s a 98 percent confidence
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