Consumer spending on apparel and footwear increased by less than 0.8% in March, according to recently released U.S. government data. This is the tenth consecutive month of declining growth in the combined category, and sixth straight month of less than 1 percent gains.
Spending growth on apparel lagged far behind total consumer spending on goods and services, which grew by 4.45%.
Footwear spending increased by 1.4%, capping eight consecutive months of declining growth, while consumption of apparel rose by a paltry 0.28% in the month.
Stagnant-to-declining prices for apparel and footwear are partly responsible for the sluggish growth. Apparel prices rose by only 0.8% in March, and footwear prices remained virtually flat, compared to a 2.4% increase in overall inflation.
Another factor in the flat apparel spending is consumers’ flagging demand for clothing and shoes relative to other more experiential categories like travel and dining out, and non-discretionary expenditures like housing, education and health care.
An uptick in circular industry initiatives has prompted brands, and apparel organizations to make sustainability a priority in their supply chains.Read more
For the first time, talk of circular economy seems to be superseding conversations about color, style, textiles and trends.Read more
The ready made garment sector in Bangladesh suffered another tragedy on Wednesday when six workers perished in a textile factory fire.Read more
The call for sustainability remains rampant in the industry and companies, including LVMH and Guess, are setting new environmental goals for 2020.Read more
Faced with a mountain of debt and suppliers in retreat, Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy this week.Read more
Labeling could be a boon for retailers who are looking to address consumer preferences and prioritize sustainability measures.Read more
The Chinese government’s ongoing program to inspect factories throughout the country seems to have had only a minor impact on apparel and textile facilities thus far.Read more