WASHINGTON — Increases in imports and production, coupled with weakening demand and fierce competition from discounters, has undermined pricing power, according to economists.
Retail prices for all apparel fell a seasonally adjusted 0.9 percent in June, while prices fell 2.9 percent against June 2001. The one-month decline marked the biggest decline in June since 1948, the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index revealed on Friday.
Women’s apparel retail prices fell 0.3 percent in June versus May, and fell 3.1 percent against the year-ago period. Girls’ prices dropped 3.5 percent for the month and fell further by 1.1 percent against June 2001.
It was the biggest [year-over-year] decrease since June 1996 for women’s prices, according to a Labor analyst who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
"A large part of our sample is full-price department stores, and they have had a lot of competition from discounters," she said. "They are clearing out merchandise now to get ready for back-to-school and early fall."
Charles McMillion, chief economist at MBG Information Services, said prices have been in a "free fall" for the past three months, which he expects to continue through the year.
"These kinds of price drops can’t be sustained," McMillion said. "If they can’t do anything about imports and demand, the only other alternative is to cut domestic production, and it is liable to fall sharply over the next few months."
The overall consumer price rate, which includes the volatile energy and food prices, rose 0.1 percent in June and increased 1.1 percent against June 2001.
"The problem is we are already in a jobless recovery, and it isn’t going to get better for the textile and apparel industries," predicted McMillion.
In the individual price categories tracked by Labor, all sectors posted declines. Prices for suits and separates fell 4.4 percent in June and 4.3 percent against the year-ago level, while prices for underwear, nightwear, sportswear and accessories fell 3.5 percent last month and plunged 5.7 percent against June 2001.
Prices for dresses fell 1.4 percent in June, but rose 8.8 percent on a year-over-year basis. Outerwear prices fell 1.1 percent last month and dipped 5.5 percent against the year-ago period.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)