By  on May 14, 2014

Jeans, particularly in the premium zone, were among the most buoyant categories of apparel throughout the recession and its prolonged aftermath. Their performance during the slow recovery has been less than inspiring.

On the positive side, unit sales of women’s jeans in the U.S. picked up in the 12 months through March, rising 1.2 percent to 332.1 million, according to the most recent figures available from The NPD Group, the Port Washington, N.Y.-based consumer-research firm. But the unit numbers weren’t sufficient to lift retailers’ dollar take during a 12-month period that included challenging back-to-school, holiday and early spring seasons. Sales fell 5.2 percent to $8.34 billion from $8.8 billion in the comparable year ending in March 2013, lowering the average price per pair by 6.4 percent to $25.11 from $26.83.

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