Nashville shops seeing trends topping pre-pandemic 2019 levels

Posted at 6:44 PM, Jul 20, 2022

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — We all know a lot of businesses suffered during the pandemic. This year has seen sales in some areas make a comeback in a major way. There are things selling even better now than they were in 2019.

"We've got lots of really fun jackets to hit the store," said Rachel Carter, looking through jackets and dresses. "I always try to buy fun, bold. We love rainbow."

After more than 20 years working in retail, Carter decided to open her own shop, This is The Finale.

"Rhinestone shorts, these are great with a graphic tee," said Carter, filing through the clothes on display.

Even a place that deals with so much that's beautiful has seen hard days.

"Signed my lease, and 40 days later, the pandemic hits," said Carter. "No one knew this was going to happen."

Carter's still here, and now, she's witnessing a national trend.

According to market researchers of the NPD Group, the national sales of dresses are up 42% over last year. Likewise, the sales of sport coats are up 32%. The NPD Group reports dress sales are now 14% ahead of even pre-pandemic 2019 numbers. The sales of sport coats also top 2019.

Carter points out it is specific items that are selling so well.

"Full transparency, I'm down on the year 9%," said Carter. "Gas prices are what they are. However, my dress sales are up 18%."

Those national boosts are for things linked to attending special occasions, items also including handbags.

"You're more apt to go to that work function now," said Carter. "You're willing to go to the birthday brunch. Getting to be part of those moments again, instead of 'when are we out of this?' has just been such a huge transition."