Spending On Apparel Before Vacations

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Hypothesis Testing; Consumer Spending on Apparel and Accessories Tends to Increase Before a Vacation

While there is not enough data-based statistics to support the hypothesis that Americans tend to spend more on apparel and accessories before going on a vacation, the research team provided some key insights: travel/vacation drove 50% of Americans to purchase new clothes in 2014. Below is an explanation of our methodology as well as an overview of the garnered useful findings.

USEFUL FINDINGS

  • Data from a Field Agent survey stated that travel/vacation drove 50% of Americans to purchase new clothes in 2014.
  • According to Bankrate, about 52% of Americans plan to go on vacation before the end of Summer of 2019.
  • According to Allianz Travel, about 44% of Americans took a Summer vacation in 2017.
  • A survey by Gift Card Granny found that July (21%), June (15.5%), and August (14%) were the most popular vacation months in the United States in 2018.
  • According to a Statista report, there were noticeable spikes in the retail sales of U.S. clothing stores in May of 2017, 2018,and 2019, which is just before the onset of the popular vacation season (June, July, and August).

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To provide 5-7 data-based statistics to support the hypothesis that Americans tend to spend more on apparel and accessories before going on a vacation, we began our research by searching through both retail and travel analytics resources. Our initial strategy entailed scouring through U.S.-based travel organizations including the U.S. Travel Association, business trends analytics sites including Access Development, retail analytics sites such as RetailNext, retail solutions resources including Field Agent and Retail Solutions, travel-oriented news resources including Travel Agent Central, travel insurance and other financial analytics resources such as Bankrate and AAA Travel, and travel solutions sites including Allianz Global.

Our initial research produced some interesting data on the U.S. vacation and shopping trends but no statistics that would enable us to support the hypothesis that Americans tend to spend more on apparel and accessories before going on a vacation. A resource by the U.S. Travel Association provides a breakdown of the total expenditures by U.S. travelers but it does not include any information on the expenditures before the vacation/travel, especially on apparel and accesories. However, we managed to find a single 2015 data from a Field Agent survey that stated that travel/vacation drove 50% of Americans to purchase new clothes. We tried to explore this survey further but our efforts were fruitless.

Next, we searched through market research resources such as MarketsandMarkets and Mintel, analytics resources such as Pew Research, statistics sites such as Statista, and data measurement/analytics resources such as Nielsen. Our research also entailed searching for any surveys from professional sites such as LinkedIn such as, credit card/financial services companies including American Express, and retail sites including Amazon. While we found some statistics on the overall spend on apparel and accessories as well as vacations in the United States, there was nothing that we could use to support the hypothesis.

Third, we scoured for any media reports from financial news resources such as CNBC and Forbes, general media resources such as the Washington Post, and PR media outlets such as PRNewsire and Reuters. We also searched for any available journals and academic studies from reputable centers such as Havard and the NYU. Again, our research produced nothing of use.

As a last resort, the research team tried to find data points that we could use to triangulate the required information. We decided to find any spikes in apparel shopping activities in the months/weeks that Americans vacation the most. Our hope was that we could find sales data that would prove that Americans shopped significantly more around the time that they went for vacations.

According to data from AAA Travel and Allianz Global, most American vacation during the months of Summer. A 2018 survey by Gift Card Granny found that July (21%), June (15.5%), and August (14%) were the most popular vacation months in the United States. A 2015 report on the most popular time off requests, the latest we could find, corroborates this and establishes a trend by stating that Americans took the longest time off work for vacations in the months of June, July, and August. We also found another report by Statista detailing the retail sales of American clothing stores by month from the beginning of 2017 to June 2019.

From the Statista data, we established that there were noticeable spikes in the retail sales of U.S. clothing stores in May of 2017, 2018,and 2019, which is just before the onset of the popular vacation season (June, July, and August). However, this data is not conclusive enough to support the hypothesis since the spike in sales in May could be caused by new-season summer styles hitting the stores in late April, among other possible reasons. Without any further breakdown to show the composition of the sales or additional data to clearly establish the motivation of the increased purchases, we could not ascertain that the increase was triggered by the upcoming vacation periods. Regrettably, we could not find sufficient data-based statistics to support the hypothesis that Americans tend to spend more on apparel and accessories before going on a vacation.

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