NEW YORK — Apparel’s deflationary price spiral unwound sales of women’s casual sportswear last year.
A 4 percent decline in the average price of women’s casual sportswear, to $19.46 last December, from $20.35 in December 2001, contributed to a 2 percent slump in the sector’s sales for the full year — which tallied $38.8 billion, versus $39.6 billion in 2001 — according to the AccuPanel Quarterly Apparel Monitor for the fourth quarter and full year, released Thursday by Cambridge, Mass.-based STS Market Research.
Roughly $11 billion, or 28.4 percent, of women’s casual sportswear volume last year came in the fourth quarter, compared with $11.2 billion, or 28.3 percent, in the final period of 2001.
Jeans were the only women’s casual sportswear classification whose retail price eroded less than 1 percent in 2002, to $23.35, on average, from $23.44 in 2001 — making it the second-priciest piece of casual sportswear after skirts and dresses. Skirts and dresses bore an average tag of $31.05 last year, off 2 percent, from $31.63 in 2001. The steepest price declines for the full year were suffered by sweaters and pants, as both saw their average tags drop by 8 percent, to $22.33 and $21.56, respectively. A year earlier, sweaters averaged $24.21, and pants, $23.31.
Women’s jeans business last year ebbed from its high of 2001, but demand remained firm enough to keep prices steady, observed STS chairman and president Arthur Spar. "Women bought more jeans than men, for the first time, in 2001, and the trend continued last year," Spar noted. Women bought roughly $5.3 billion worth of jeans in 2002, off 4 percent from $5.5 billion in 2001.
A handful of casual sportswear sectors were able to make single-digit sales gains for 2002, or hold steady with prior-year volumes, despite the pinch of price deflation. Full-year sales of activewear ran up 4 percent to $2.96 billion, from $2.84 billion in 2001, while sweater volume edged up 1 percent to $4.52 billion from $4.49 billion. Consumer purchases of knit shirts were flat at $6.07 billion for 2002 and purchases of woven shirts plateaued at $4.2 billion.
The biggest percentage decline in volume, for the full year, was felt by shorts, whose sales dropped 8 percent to about $2.1 billion, from $2.3 billion in 2001. That was followed by shirts and dresses, which were off 5 percent to $7.2 billion from $7.6 billion.Retail sales of men’s and women’s casual sportswear in 2002 reached a combined $66.17 billion, nearly flat with sales of $66.47 billion a year earlier.
Warehouse stores made the biggest gains by percentage last year, as sales of casual sportswear advanced 13 percent to $1.02 billion, from $905 million in 2001. Next were off-pricers, with revenue up 9 percent to $4.4 billion from $4.06 billion, and national chains, such as Kohl’s, J.C. Penney Co. and Mervyn’s, up 8 percent to $9.7 billion from $9 billion.
Losing the most ground in sales of casual sportswear last year were sporting goods stores, off 9 percent to $1.06 billion from $1.2 billion, and factory outlets, down 8 percent to $1.8 billion versus $1.9 billion.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye