Paris (AFP)

Take care of your interior rather than your wardrobe, prepare for a possible re-containment, arbitrate expenses ... Certain consumption trends resulting from the Covid-19 epidemic persisted during the summer and the brands are adapting, believing that there will be no "return to normal" in this matter.

Everything for the house

The famous Bazar de l'Hotel de Ville (BHV) was already well known for its DIY departments, but its director Amandine de Souza, who took charge two years ago, has boosted the segment including home and leisure.

Rightly so, since at present home equipment accounts for 60% of the turnover of the department store on rue Rivoli, against 40% for fashion, while the ratio was 50-50 a year earlier.

"We tend towards 65-35", she explained Wednesday.

All the actors observed the same dynamism of household equipment, whether in terms of DIY, planning or office equipment.

At Bureau Vallée, Adrien Peyroles observed an explosion in the printing market, which has continued since confinement.

"It is difficult to source these products, it almost becomes resourceful to do so."

Another star is the office chair.

Textiles and hygiene-beauty in decline

On the other hand, teleworking and masks continue to penalize the textile and hygiene-beauty sectors;

retail sales specialist Nielsen notes that spending on lipstick, but also on face and eye makeup, remains down from 2019 levels.

The clothing and textile turnover of distributors recorded at the end of July a decline of 20% compared to the same period in 2019, according to a study by the French Fashion Institute (IFM).

"The market decline during the year 2020 should exceed that observed during the period 2007-2019 (-17%)", he anticipates.

Small consolation, the crisis has "strongly stimulated online shopping," says the IFM.

This applies in particular to Veepee, Zalando and the specialist in second-hand sales - another persistent trend - Vinted, according to a study conducted this time by Kantar, in the first half of 2020.

Premium "phygital"

Allergic to neologisms and resistant to anglicisms, beware: the future of distribution will be "phygital" or "omnichannel", say specialists.

No longer a question of opposing e-commerce and “hard” stores, the various players have taken advantage of the crisis to “accelerate their digital transformation”, explains the vice-president of the European e-commerce association, Marc Lolivier.

Order online and go to the store, order a part in store that is no longer in stock, "exchanges must be very fluid between the physical network, the website, and all the actions that can be implemented. place ", explains in an interview with AFP the specialist in the restructuring of companies Philippe Favre, president of the sports distributor Go Sport.

Evolution of the store base

Moody's rating agency warns that for many European and American distributors, it will be difficult to return to 2019 income levels for "at least two years."

Consequence: "in five years, we expect that there will be a lot fewer stores, while the pressure on the margins will intensify".

Distributors will indeed have to invest to ensure their digital transition and, with lower sales, will have to reduce the wing on other expenditure items.

For Moody's, this will be particularly sensitive in the United States, including for entire shopping centers.

Consumption more controlled?

"The news cycle relating to Covid-19 no longer influences the trends of consumer goods in Europe, on the contrary, new socio-economic and behavioral models have come into play and are shaping the future of mass consumption", affirms the Nielsen firm.

Between health and economic uncertainties, he anticipates that "consumers will be even more vigilant about the content of their food shopping".

This applies to those who have seen their purchasing power cut, but also to others.

"We will have to reconcile the purchasing habits that have been in place for years with the new reality of today, where priorities in terms of health and budget meet", said Scott McKenzie, head of the Nielsen entity. Intelligence.

© 2020 AFP