2017 vs. 2018 Prom Dress Sales Trends Show Affordability and Simplicity Prevail

NEW YORK, NY, May 01, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — With the prom dress buying season well under way, Occasion Brands, LLC, releases this issue of Pulse of Prom comparing year-over-year (YOY) 2018 and 2017 online purchase trends for both junior and senior proms. The average price of a dress sold for prom dropped from $211 in 2017 to $198 in 2018. This 6% decrease shows the growing importance of affordability for prom dress shoppers. Consumers also spent less on junior prom dresses than senior prom both years, reinforcing a consistent trend of spending a bit more for senior prom than junior prom. With fewer of the top styles sold in 2018 boasting the embellishments preferred in the top dresses sold in 2017, simplicity for a bargain is the driving force for prom dress sales in 2018.

Increase in Dress Sales Under $200
In 2018, an increase in prom dress sales at lower price points emphasizes the fact that consumers are spending less on prom dresses in 2018 than they did in 2017. Both 2017 and 2018 had the highest percentage of sales in the $100-$200 price range; however, prom dress sales under $100 increased by 4% from 2017, and dress sales in the $100-$200 range rose by 3% in 2018. This results in a significant increase, 7%, in prom dress purchases under $200 in 2018 than in the previous year. Additionally, 2018 had 6% fewer prom sales in the $200-$400 range, further affirming the preference for affordable prom dresses in 2018. www.promgirl.com

Nationwide Preference for Affordable Styles
Nationally, the US average price per prom dress declined in 2018 compared to that of 2017. The West ($204 in 2017 vs. $189 in 2018), Midwest ($215 in 2017 vs. $200 in 2018), and South ($212 in 2017 vs. $197 in 2018) showed the largest decrease at 7% each. The Northeast had the smallest decrease at 3% in average price, dropping from $213 in 2017 to $207 in 2018. Rounding out the middle, the Pacific region had a 6% decline in the average prom dress price, decreasing from $185 in 2017 to $174 in 2018. This drop in the average price point is indicative of the overall preference for more affordable prom dresses with simpler stylings in 2018.

Consistency in Junior vs. Senior Prom Sales Trends
In both 2017 and 2018, senior prom made up the majority of total prom sales at 60%, while junior prom accounted for the remaining 40%. With junior prom dress sales under $100 averaging 26% in 2017 and 30% in 2018 (compared to 20% in 2017 and 23% in 2018 for senior prom), there is consistently a higher percentage of purchases under $100 made for junior prom. Furthermore, prom dress sales in the $200-$500 range show a consistently higher amount of senior prom purchases (41% in 2017 and 35% in 2018) compared to those for junior prom (34% in 2017 and 28% in 2018). Ultimately, buyers continued to spend more for senior prom than junior prom dresses both years. www.promgirl.com

From Embellishments to Simplicity
While the 2018 prom dress trends so far this season demonstrate a preference for long v-neck dresses in an a-line cut, the 2017 prom dress trends had more variety among the top styles sold. Embroidered bodices, two-piece styles, high necklines, and illusion accents (like sheer cut outs or mesh panels) adorned the top styles in 2017 when consumers opted for unique, embellished long dresses for prom. While the top choices for both years show a strong preference for the color red in varying shades, in 2017 buyers sought burgundy, wine, and black; whereas, 2018 consumers prefer a range of red hues, as well as subtle earth tones, like mauve and champagne. The trends that remained constant over both years include floor-length a-line skirts, v-necklines, and top fabrics like chiffon, jersey, and tulle. In seeking prom dresses at a more affordable price range, 2018 prom dress shoppers have opted for similar cuts and fabrics to previous years, but with fewer embellishments.

The Data
The data for these mid-season prom trends represents sales in 2017 and 2018 between January 1 and April 23 across the United States by PromGirl, a leading national online prom retailer.

About Occasion Brands, LLC
PromGirl, founded in 1998, has sold over 2 million dresses online and is the largest online retailer of prom and other special-occasion dresses. It offers an unparalleled selection of high-quality, in-stock dresses at all price points. Through the website, mobile and social platforms, PromGirl’s reach is global, delivering “dream dresses” to more than 140 international destinations. As part of the Occasion Brands portfolio, its mission is to be the premier retailer in the special-occasion dress market by providing a world-class shopping experience and maintaining customer trust through an understanding of their needs as they experience some of the most important moments in their lives. Occasion Brands’ staff is based in New York City and Middletown, Delaware, and its state-of-the-art facility in New Jersey houses hundreds of thousands of dresses for PromGirl and its sister brand, Simply Dresses.


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