Apparel Prices Under Pressure in August

Although consumer prices continued to drift upward in August, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation data, apparel and footwear prices suffered another sizable decline, pressured by the intensely promotional retail environment, share gains by fast fashion and off-price retailers, and consumers’ rising value-consciousness.

The overall consumer price index, or CPI, increased by 0.2% in August on a year-over-year basis, its biggest rise in eight months. The index was flat compared to July.

The core inflation rate, which excludes food and energy, rose by 1.8%, due primarily to increases in housing and medical service costs. The combined apparel and footwear price index fell by 0.9%, its tenth straight month of decline.

August2015CPI

The index for clothing dropped by  1.5%, its tenth straight monthly drop but smallest decline in four months. Footwear prices increased by 1.1% in the month, their smallest increase in 14 months.

August2015ApparelFootwearCPI

The decline in apparel prices was due primarily to a 2.5% drop in women’s prices. Retailers continue to cite women’s apparel as one of the weaker areas in the market, and the rapid expansion of fast fashion brands like H&M and Forever 21, and of off-price formats like TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Saks off Fifth and others is eroding share of traditional retail nameplates. Men’s apparel prices declined by just 1.6%.

August2015MWApparelCPI

Girls’ and boys’ apparel prices fell by 0.1%, while prices for infants and toddlers apparel rose by 5.9%, its biggest monthly jump in more than three years.

August2015ChildrensApparelCPI


Recent News

Euratex Says Uncontrolled Brexit Would Have a Grave Impact on the Textile Sector

A smooth Brexit. That's what the European Apparel & Textile Confederation Euratex is advocating in the hopes of keeping the intertwined supply chains of Europe and England functioning.

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

Report: The Truth About Organic Cotton and its Impacts

Hoping to quell misconceptions about organic cotton and its differences from the conventional kind, Textile Exchange released a Quick Guide to Organic Cotton. The fact sheet, out Friday, points to organic cotton as a preferred fiber, or one that is ecologically and socially progressive, and outlines exactly why.

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