What a Reopened US Border Could Mean for a Fashion and Retail Rebound


The U.S. is readying to reopen its borders to international travelers next month, signaling renewed hope for an acceleration of a retail rebound in North America.

Fully vaccinated travelers will be able to enter the U.S, starting Nov. 8, a White House Official told The New York Times on Friday. Under the new announcement, travelers from across the globe can enter the U.S. if they show proof that they are fully vaccinated. Air travelers must provide a negative coronavirus test within three days of entering of U.S.

More travelers coming to the U.S. will likely translate to more sales across apparel and footwear, especially in shopping tourism destinations such as New York City, Los Angeles Las Vegas and Miami. These areas, generally major tourist shopping destinations, were hit hard amid pandemic-related shutdowns and a lack of tourism in the U.S.

In general, open borders could mean a continuation of a healthy rebound for the U.S. fashion market, which has been on the upswing for the last couple of months.

September retail sales rose 0.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis compare to August, according to Friday data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Consumer prices rose in September by 5.4% compared to a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report, with shoe prices increasing 6.5%

Despite COVID-19 disruptions, New York Fashion Week spring 2022 in September marked the first in-person fashion week event to take place in New York since February 2020. Though the event was supposed to celebrate the return to live fashion events and runways, the shadow of the Delta variant was present nonetheless. Shows required vaccination or a negative COVID test 72 hours prior. There was also a strong suggestion to wear masks while attending shows.

As the U.S. opens its borders, international brands and company electives will now be able to attend major fashion events in the U.S. moving forward. They will also be able to visit and interact with U.S. brands in person, a crucial element to understanding the vast market.

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