by Stephen Garner

holiday_shopping1Consumers who purchase at off-price retail outlets are a growing group, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Now representing two-thirds of all consumers, off-price buyers are also hardcore apparel purchasers and represent 75 percent of apparel purchases across all retail channels, according to NPD’s receipt mining service, Checkout Trackingsm. Not a particularly loyal group, off-price apparel buyers shop at multiple off-price retailers as well as other retail outlets.

Consumers, ages 45 and above, represent over half of off-price apparel buyers, finds NPD’s Checkout Tracking, which analyzes receipts and follows consumer purchasing behavior over time. This age group, along with older Millennials, ages 25 to 34, which represent 16 percent of off-price apparel buyers, both increased their share of off-price apparel purchases.

“Off-price retailers are resonating with fashion and cost-conscious consumers alike, and are stealing department store business for good reason,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “Off-price is second only to the online channel in terms of growth rate.”

Shopping visits made to off-price retail stores — whether a consumer made a purchase or not—increased by 4 percent in the year ending April 2016 compared to same period last year. In the same period, off-price retailers converted 50 percent of the shopping visits to their brick & mortar stores to a purchase, this according to NPD’s Shopper Insights Service, which tracks where and how consumers shop, including traffic, shopping conversion, demographics, and more.

“Consumers are clearly looking for better deals and they know if they shop at an off-price retailer they will get them,” added Cohen. “Apparel shoppers are finding just what they want at off-price retailers at the right time and at the right price, and that isn’t always the case with department stores.”