What Are Shoppers Buying Since They Aren’t Buying Clothes?

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It’s bleak out there for a clothing retailer, with sales slumping at many chains, leading some — American Apparel, Aeropostale, Pacsun, among others — to declare bankruptcy. So if we aren’t shopping for items to clad our bodies, what are we shopping for?

As it turns out, we’re buying stuff to deck out our homes, with many retailers, including those that also sell clothing, seeing healthy numbers in the home goods category, MarketWatch reports.

Urban Outfitters said while reporting its first-quarter earnings recently that home merchandise was part of the reason the company beat estimates. The company has its namesake chain, which sells clothing and home furnishings, as well as Anthropologie, Free People, home brand Terrain, and others.

“Strong, double-digit growth in the expanded categories like home, beauty, intimates, Terrain and BHLDN helped to drive these results and were partially offset by declines in certain apparel categories,” said David McCreight, president of Urban Outfitters on the call, adding that home is “one of the largest contributors” to the company’s growth plans.

Home Depot and Lowe’s also had higher-than-expected earnings, while Target said home goods were a highlight for its business as well, with same-stores sales for the category up 4%.

“And we certainly recognize that within overall categories, today’s consumer, our guests, [are] reinvesting in their homes,” said Chief Executive Brian Cornell during the Target earnings call. “They’re spending money on home improvement.”

Retailers are pushing to get in on the action, with Sears moving to invest in home-goods with it first appliance-focused store this week. Then there’s JCPenney, which announced recently that it’s expanding its new appliance showroom to 500 stores.

“[M]ore than ever, customers are spending their money to update and beautify their homes, and we believe JC Penney is in a unique position to offer a compelling assortment within major appliances, window treatments, furniture and flooring,” said Chief Executive Marvin Ellison on an earnings call last Friday reported by MarketWatch.

This all points to a change in mood: we’d rather spend our money to spiff up our dwellings rather than adorn our bodies. Now excuse me, my kitchen needs a new outfit and NO it can not wear what it wore last Monday.

Since no one is buying clothes, here’s what stores are selling instead [MarketWatch]