US Market: the Fall of Fashion and Household Products in H1-2020

In the first half of the year, sharp decrease of US imports for clothing, footwear, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, furniture, home textile and lighting technology.

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Covid-19 Home items Fashion Check performance Consumption pattern United States of America Import Foreign market analysis

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On the basis of data recently published by the US Bureau of Statistics (U.S. Census Bureau), it is possible to make an initial assessment of the effects of the recession on the US market for consumer discretionary. StudiaBo's pre-estimates for the 2nd quarter of the year report deep falls in US imports for both Fashion and Home products.

The lockdown played a decisive role in the fall of the US market, but intervened in an already deteriorated situation

In the period April-June 2020, imports of Fashion products2 deteriorated significantly (-22.4% in USD YoY), but were already down in the previous two quarters: Q1-2020 recorded, in fact, a 13.2% fall (YoY) in USD; the previous quarter had recorded a YoY reduction of 8.9% in USD.


In the first 6 months of 2020, US imports of Fashion products lost about 18 percentage points in dollar values, for a total decrease of more than $20 billion. In terms of absolute values, the following sectors were the most penalized, compared to the same period in 2019:

  • Outerwear: -$6.2 billion compared to H1-2019 (-24.1%)
  • Underwear and hosiery: -$3.7 bn (-29.6%)
  • Books and other products of creative activities: -$3.5 bn (-44.8%)
  • Footwear: -$3.2 bn (-23.8%)

At the same time, for the third consecutive quarter, US imports of Household products2 went down: the YoY decline has worsened from about -14% in Q1-2020 to -22% in Q2, in USD values.


In the first 6 months of the year, US imports of Household products have experienced a total decrease of about $12 billion compared to H1-2019, corresponding to a 17.9% YoY contraction in USD.
In terms of absolute values, the following sectors were the most penalized, compared to the same period in 2019:

  • Consumer Electronics: -$4 billion compared to H1-2019 (-24%)
  • Home Appliances: -$1.8 billion (-12.6%)
  • Furniture: -$1.6 billion (-14.3%)
  • Home Textile: -$1.4 billion (-24.1%)
  • Lighting technology: -$1.1 billion (-21.9%)

Better performance for Packaged Consumer goods
(food, first of all)

Packaged consumer products look relatively more sheltered from the disruptive effects of recession on American economy:

  • Packaged Food and Beverage: despite a decline in Q2-2020, H1-2020 has recorded a YoY decrease of just 0.5% in USD values;
  • Consumer Packaged Goods (other than F&B): although there was a decrease in the most recent quarter of nearly 6% in USD, the balance for the first half of the year was not so negative compared to the same period in 2019 (-4.3%).

1) See the list of sectors here considered in the ExportPlanning's Products Classification.
2) See the list of sectors here considered in the ExportPlanning's Products Classification.