By and  on October 5, 2011

Men’s denim sales have shrunk like a pair of 501’s in the wash this year, as the gloomy economy, high unemployment and a bearish stock market deflated consumer spending on jeans.

Total men’s jeans sales declined 2 percent for the 12 months ended in August to $5.17 billion, according to The NPD Group figures. Unit sales decreased 3 percent to 218.6 million, with the average price per pair bumped up less than 1 percent to $23.64 — as companies inch up price tags due to higher cotton and production costs.

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