US Consumer Prices Flat In September, Apparel Falls

Inflation stalled in September, according to the most recent consumer price index (CPI) data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

After edging up slightly in each of the prior three months, the overall CPI was flat last month compared to September 2014, as declines in gasoline prices offset increases in food, shelter, medical care and other goods and services.

The core inflation rate, which excludes food and energy, rose by 1.9%, due primarily to increases in housing and medical service costs. The combined apparel and footwear price index fell by 1.4%, its eleventh straight month of decline.

Sep2015cpi1

The index for clothing, also in its eleventh straight month down, dropped by 1.6%. Footwear prices edged down by 0.5% in the month, the first decline since June 2014.

Sep2015cpi2

A 2.4% drop in prices of women’s apparel, the largest segment in the market, was largely responsible for price erosion in the category. Traditional apparel retailers continue to feel the pressure and share gains by fast fashion brands like H&M and Forever 21, and of off-price formats like TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Saks off Fifth and others. This past month, Irish cheap and chic retailer Primark opened its first U.S. store, in Boston’s Downtown Crossing area.

Men’s apparel prices remained all but flat, edging down 0.2% in the month.

Sep2015cpi3

While boys’ apparel prices declined by just 1.3%, prices of girlswear plunged by 4.6%. Infants’ and toddlers’ prices rose the most of any category, by 5.9% in the month.

Sep2015cpi4


Recent News

Retail Roundup: Target Hits Snooze, Amazon and Warby Parker Test New Models

Print PDFPrint PDFWhen times are tough, companies are more willing to test new ideas and Target, Warby Parker and Amazon are pushing the boundaries of traditional retail. Target gets in bed with Casper After failed attempts at an acquisition, Target has instead invested in Casper...

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

J.Crew to Get Cheaper as Drexler Admits to Missing the Mark

J.Crew has been shifting in its seat trying to adjust to a new normal of shrinking sales and growing debt, but nothing has quite yet paid off, so the company is cutting its prices.

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

Around the Web: Kid’s Apparel, Bankruptcy Comebacks and “Made in China’s” New Face

This week, consumers called for better children's apparel, retailers turned internally to remedy their financial woes and apparel incubators improved China's manufacturing sector.

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

Infographic: What do Consumers Really Think About Sustainability Anyway?

Whether and how much consumers care about sustainability may be an ongoing question the industry wants an answer for, but one thing that’s clear is that though some consumers do care, sustainability isn’t the first thing they think of.

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

Shuffle Board: Gymboree Taps Former Tilly’s Exec as CEO, J.C. Penney Hires New EVP, Wolford Creative Director Exits

Gymboree tapped former Tilly's executive Daniel Griesemer as its new CEO, JC Penney appointed Marci Grebstein as its new EVP and Wolford creative director Grit Seymour is leaving the company.

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

Senate Committee Advances American-Made Products Act

Aiming to clear up potential conflicts with state laws, the Reinforcing American-Made Products Act now moves to the full Senate for consideration after the chamber’s Commerce Committee gave approval to the measure.

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