Consumers paid higher prices for many things in January, but apparel was not one of them.
January’s consumer price index (CPI) had its biggest increase in six months, according to data just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Prices for all goods and services rose by 1.6% (unadjusted for seasonality) compared to the same month last year, with the core rate of inflation, which ignores food and energy price moves, also up 1.6%.
The index for apparel and footwear, however, fell by 0.3%, its worst showing in almost three years.
Apparel prices (excluding footwear) were flat, compared to a 1% increase in December. Footwear prices dropped by 1.9%.
Womenswear prices spiked 3.1% in the month, after a 3.2% increase in December. Menswear prices dropped by 1.7% in the month.
Prices for infants’ and children’s apparel fell by 1.9%, with girlswear prices plummeting almost 9%. A glut of tween girls’ clothing at department, discount and specialty stores has been putting downward pressure on prices. Boys’ apparel prices increased 3.9%.
Government consumer price indices are based on ticketed and sale prices of products, but do not reflect the impact of other promotional discounts such as Buy One Get One, loyalty point redemption or other transaction-based discounts.
Belk is bucking the department store trend with plans to open new stores.Read more
In an effort to align itself with consumers’ current shopping habits, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus has announced reorganization plans that includes eliminating jobs and putting Last Call under the microscope.Read more
The International Trade Commission’s Year in Trade report for 2016 shows mixed results in trade among free trade agreement partner countries and trade preference program nations.Read more
This week in footwear: Rocky Brands, reported second quarter net sales were $58.5 million, plus German shoe brands continue to make an impression on the U.S. market.Read more
The Better Cotton Initiative continues to grow from farm to shelf, as its mission of making cotton production more sustainable and the lives of small cotton farmers better expands around the world.Read more
If done right, it could cost less to make a shoe in America than to make that same shoe in China.Read more
Walmart is ramping up in store offerings with its latest pickup tower expansion.Read more