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May 22, 2021, 10:36 a.m. EDT

Swimsuits and luggage are hot items as U.S. shoppers prepare for summer events with relaxed COVID restrictions

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Tonya Garcia

With vaccines rolling out and restrictions easing, consumers are preparing for summer with items like bathing suits high on the shopping list.

“In March, shoppers bought aspirational items that they look forward to showing off once the weather improved and restrictions started to lift,” said Manish Chandra, chief executive of Poshmark Inc. /zigman2/quotes/223776918/composite POSH +4.44% , during that company’s recent first-quarter earnings call .

Top-performing secondhand categories in March included crop tops (up 101% year-over-year), bikinis (up 86%) and jean shorts (up 85%).

Poshmark sellers offer items that are both new and secondhand. A quick check shows many swimsuits sold on Poshmark are described as “new and with tags” or have been photographed with the tags showing. Poshmark asks that items be properly cleaned before shipping and sellers be as descriptive as possible.

An NPD report shows the sale of swimwear was up 32% versus pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Macy’s Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201854387/composite M -2.93% , which reported its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday , said luggage was one of its “most improved categories in the quarter.”

“The stimulus encouraged more customers to use cash and debit cards instead of credit, and the increased level of vaccinations boosted store traffic, all encouraging signs as consumers move towards a post-pandemic lifestyle and start to spend more for in-person activities, travel and events,” said Chief Executive Jeff Gennette on the earnings call.

See: Walmart takes the unusual step of raising its outlook in first-quarter earnings report

“Clearly, our customer is ready to get on with life.”

Macy’s beat earnings expectations and raised its guidance.

“Macy’s first quarter results reflect the tailwinds of a positive macro environment fueled by stimulus and an accelerated vaccine rollout despite continued depressed tourism,” said Christina Boni, Moody’s senior vice president.

The aforementioned NPD report found luggage sales had returned to 80% of their 2019 levels.

“There is a lot of pent-up demand driving consumer travel aspirations, so travel accessories that are both functional and innovative will be the hot ticket items, as people prepare for upcoming trips,” said Beth Goldstein, accessories and footwear industry analyst for NPD.

Walmart Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite WMT -0.32% , which also reported its fiscal first-quarter earnings on Tuesday , said it saw strength across a wide variety of categories, including home, seasonal and apparel.

Walmart also noted the ongoing efforts in some parts of the world to get COVID-19 under control, particularly in India, Chile, South Africa and Canada.

Also: Red Cross calls on wealthier countries to end ‘glaring inequity’ in COVID-19 vaccine access as global case tally nears 164 million

MKM Partners analysts note that about a quarter of Poshmark’s employees are in India.

/zigman2/quotes/223776918/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 48.27
+2.05 +4.44%
Volume: 237,463
June 14, 2021 11:36a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$3.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
$469,672
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/zigman2/quotes/201854387/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 18.89
-0.57 -2.93%
Volume: 5.40M
June 14, 2021 11:36a
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
0.00%
Market Cap
$6.07 billion
Rev. per Employee
$239,027
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/zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 140.30
-0.45 -0.32%
Volume: 1.57M
June 14, 2021 11:37a
P/E Ratio
32.62
Dividend Yield
1.57%
Market Cap
$394.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
$243,109
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