Coachella kicks off festival season every year around this time, an annual celebration of music and arts. Over the last five years, the festival has become a marketing destination for fashion influencers and brands to capitalize on “festival fashion” trends.
But this year, Coachella has been postponed, as the Coronavirus pandemic forces festival and concert organizers to cancel and reschedule their events. And retailers that specialize in warm weather looks and festival fashion are taking a hit.
According to the New York Times, 30% of Revolve’s ($RLV) annual revenue comes from sales during the weeks around and before Coachella. This year, festival fashion orders were one-fifth of their average size. E-retailer ASOS ($LON:ASOS) — which carries a variety of festival-friendly accessories and clubwear — saw sales fall 20%–25% since the start of the pandemic.
But even without tagged Coachella outfit pictures, some brands are experiencing higher social media engagement than previous years. ASOS’s Facebook mentions hit 162,000 this month, up 64% from last April.
Late last March, a few weeks before Coachella 2019, boho-chic retailer Free People’s ($GPS) Facebook mentions rose to 7,000. This year, mentions shot up 114%.
These surges are due in part to the pandemic. Customers are making fewer purchases and shifting focus to loungewear, but the global crisis is giving them more to say about their favorite brands, more meaning and context.
“Week 1 of my Quarantine. Online Shopping at ASOS,” one Facebook user wrote. “I’m trying not to get started,” someone commented.
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