Americans’ newfound love for sweatpants has apparel retailers racing to get casual, as they try to kick-start sales decimated by coronavirus-related store closures.
Clothing chains from Gap Inc. GPS 2.06% to Nordstrom Inc. JWN 0.68% are adding merchandise aimed at capturing increased demand for more-relaxed clothing, as millions work at home with offices shut down and every day a (very) casual Friday.
Gap even sold $130 million in face masks during its latest quarter, another sign of how retailers have adapted to the pandemic.
Gap on Thursday said its Athleta unit, which sells tights, jogging pants, sweats and workout tops, was its best-performing fashion line during its latest quarter, with sales rising 6% on higher online orders. Old Navy, a chain offering T-shirts, hoodies, leggings and more, reported sales were down 5%, much better than the 52% decline at Banana Republic, known for dressier attire, and a 28% decrease at Gap locations.