Apparel Prices Plunge in September, Driven by Menswear Decline

Banana Republic Flatiron Three
Consumer costs in the United States rose slightly in September, but apparel prices fell for the first time since June.

The U.S. Labor Department’s latest Consumer Price Index (CPI), released Tuesday, inched up 0.3% last month, driven by increases in the cost of gasoline and rent. Core CPI, which is based on all items excluding food and fuel, slowed from August’s 0.3% growth to increase 0.1% and was up 2.2% for the 12 months ended Sept. 30.

Apparel prices dropped 0.7% in September, pushing the year-over-year change to a decline of 0.1%. The last time apparel prices decreased was in June, by 0.4%, though they stayed the same in July and picked up 0.2% in August.

By category, men’s apparel prices plunged 1.3% in September, due to pants, shorts, shirts and sweaters. On a year-over-year basis, they’re down 1.5%. Prices for women’s clothing decreased 0.2% last month—with declines in all categories except intimates, sleep and sportswear—and they’re down 0.4% versus last year.

Apparel Prices September 2016
Photo: U.S. Labor Department Consumer Price Index September 2016

By comparison, boys’ apparel rose 1.2% in September (and by 4.4% year-over-year), while girlswear increased 1.1% on a monthly basis and the category is up 2 percent compared with the same time a year ago. Prices for infants’ and toddlers’ apparel, however, declined 1.2% last month. On a year-over-year basis, prices are down 6.7%.


Recent News

Brands Keep Tapping Influencers to Elevate Apparel Offerings

Fulfilling the demands of fashion-forward consumers can be challenging in today’s retail market, but many brands are turning to influencers, including bloggers and designers, to heighten their clothing merchandise. From Target’s Victoria Beckham collaboration to Lidl’s Heidi Klum line, here’s who top brands are teaming up with to elevate their apparel offerings.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

Are Unethical Sourcing Practices Helping TJX Win at Retail Right Now?

It’s fun to find a steal at stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. In fact, the off-price purveyor prides itself on that very treasure hunt. Now, however, some are calling into question the actual costs of getting the consumer such sweet deals.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more

The Week in Footwear: Première Vision Expands Footwear Manufacturing Solutions

Première Vision will broaden its offer of services tailored for the footwear industry at its next show in Paris. Plus, back-to-school sales are expected to increase by four percent.

This content is for Annual, Monthly and Limited members only. You can read up to five free articles each month with a Limited Level Subscription. Please log in, or register.
Log In Register
Read more