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Apparel buying in US stagnates

Apparel failed to benefit from the uptick in US consumer spending that continued in October. Personal consumption spending rose almost four per cent on a 12-month smoothed basis, far exceeding apparel and footwear spending, which edged up by only one per cent. Footwear drove the fashion category, rising by almost three per cent, while apparel’s increase was a mere 0.6 per cent.

Weather was partly to blame. Temperatures were above normal in much of the country, and several hurricane-like storms threatened the Southeastern US and the west coast, putting a damper on business activity. Within apparel, children’s apparel stoodout, rising by almost three per cent, while spending on women’s and men’s clothing remained at the near-flat levels seen for the past few months.

Since March, prices for children’s apparel have been falling faster than those in other apparel categories, causing parents to take advantage of these good deals to spruce up their kids’ wardrobes. States in which a majority of the population voted for Trump saw the highest year-over-year gains in online apparel revenue in the month of November. Of the 26 states that saw over 10 per cent of growth in November in online apparel sales relative to the same period last year, 20 were won by Trump.