Apparel and footwear prices turned in a slight gain in June for the fourth straight month, resisting the downward pressure exerted on the categories earlier in the year. However, increases continue to remain very small relative to those in other major consumer purchase categories, and tell only part of the story about price pressure in the apparel industry.
Overall inflation increased by a more-than-expected 2.1% in June, according to data just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, one of the largest year-over-year jumps in the index in the past two years, due to increases in housing, food and gas prices. Food prices had their second largest jump since August 2011.
The index for apparel and footwear, increased by 0.9% in June, slightly more than May’s rise.
Apparel prices (excluding footwear) experienced a 1.4% year-over-year increase, compared to a 1.2% gain in May. Footwear prices dropped by 1.2%, more than May’s 1 percent dip.
Women’s apparel prices surged by 3.8% in the month, while menswear prices fell by 1.7%.
The price index for infants’ and children’s increased for only the fourth time in 16 months, rising 1.1% in May, less than May’s 1.4% gain.
It’s important to understand, however, when looking at these indexes, that inflation is measured through a sampling of published prices, including sale prices, of items in the various categories, and doesn’t take into account the additional discounts of percent-off-entire-purchase coupons, loyalty program discounts, or similar pricing strategies that have become increasingly prevalent in department stores and specialty chains. So, if anything, the official CPI measures actually overstate inflation in industries like apparel in which couponing has been much more aggressive this year than last.
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