US apparel prices jumped for the second month in February, the biggest back-to-back advance in nearly three decades, led by women’s wear. All women’s apparel categories advanced, with footwear prices jumping the most since September 2000, and outerwear, dresses and suits also recording gains. Men paid their part, too, with sweaters and shirt prices increasing at a pace not seen in more than two years.
Clothing was among other consumer categories in February which recorded price gains. Data indicates inflation is firming without breaking out in a way that rattled financial markets last month. Apparel price increase could also be a sign that retailers are doing a better job managing their inventory levels -- a focus of many chains after the holiday season including shoe retailer DSW and Macy’s. With less products on shelves and in warehouses, companies hope to sell a larger portion of the goods at full price, minimizing the need for discounts.
The US apparel market is the largest in the world. It is always changing, attempting to adapt to customer trends and new technology that will allow consumers’ shopping experience to be more enjoyable and ergonomic. Athleisure, which is heavily driven by millennials but appeals to all age groups, continues to be a top growing apparel segment.