Women’s apparel prices fell 0.9 percent, with all of the categories declining, except dresses, which increased 0.9 percent in the month. Prices for outerwear were down 2.5 percent, while prices for suits and separates fell 1.5 percent and prices for the combined underwear, nightwear, sportswear and accessories category dropped 0.5 percent. Girls’ apparel prices rose 0.8 percent last month.
Men’s apparel prices fell 0.5 percent in December. Prices for the combined suits, sport coats and outwear category fell 3.1 percent, while prices for pants and shorts declined 1 percent. Prices for furnishings rose 1.4 percent and prices for shirts and sweaters increased 0.1 percent. Boys’ apparel prices were up 1.5 percent.
“Consumer prices were flat in December, thanks to falling pump prices and heavy holiday discounting by retailers,” said Chris G. Christopher Jr., senior principal economist at IHS Global Insight. “If one takes out food and energy prices, the picture is very subdued. Consumer goods prices excluding food and energy have declined on a monthly basis since August, due to retailers cutting prices to gain volume.”
Jeet Dutta, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics, noted that pricing was weak for retailers despite strong retail sales.
“For pricing to have weakened in the face of fairly strong demand suggests that a lot of input costs [such as cotton] have fallen and are finally being passed through to consumers,” Dutta said.
He noted that apparel prices peaked in 2011, reaching close to a 5 percent gain and moderated in 2012 with a 2 percent increase.
Based on that moderation, Moody’s is forecasting further moderation in apparel prices this year, Dutta said.
“Some of the moderation is again because input prices are coming down, but globally there is also quite a bit of weakness and while that has happened there have not been a lot of price gains on imported clothing,” Dutta said. “We expected the global economy to be on stronger footing in the second half of the year but the improvement will be gradual.”
The overall CPI was flat in December, following a slight decline in November. Core prices, excluding volatile food and energy prices, edged up 0.1 percent.
“Looking ahead, there is little threat of deflation, but far more signs of very modest consumer price inflation,” Christopher said. “The cooling in inflation is noticeable for most households; however, consumer confidence is suffering due to political bickering over the debt ceiling crisis.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion