“Lockdowns and restrictions on movement have strongly influenced consumer choices around what to wear, too. (…) Many players have been suffering, with Brooks Brothers filing for bankruptcy, Hugo Boss reporting a year-on-year sales decline of 59 percent in the second quarter, and T. M. Lewin and Moss Bros closing stores, citing customers working from home and cancellations of major events as the cause of the decline in suit shopping. According to the BoF-McKinsey State of Fashion 2021 Survey, 68 percent of fashion executives expect shopping for occasion wear to recover earliest by the end of 2021, while in formalwear, as many as 38 percent say it will never return to pre-Covid-19 growth levels.”
– The State of Fashion 2021, McKinsey
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) allows us to know whether the cost of living of the population has risen or fallen at a given time or in a given period. It is an indicator that measures the evolution of the set of prices of goods and services consumed by the people residing in family housing in Spain.
In April, in Spain, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE), the CPI for apparel (prendas de vestir) and footwear (calzado) grew by 1.2 %, similar to March (1 %). This upward trend could be due to the increase again in the demand for this type of products, which could make the sector’s growth prospects to slowly start to become a reality with the arrival of the vaccines and the reduction of restrictions.
The annual variation rate of the overall CPI in Spain in April 2021 has increased to 2.2%, with the monthly variation of the CPI being 1.2%, so that the cumulative inflation in 2021 was 1.6%.
If we analyze the data provided by the INE by subclasses we can extract that:
- The trend in apparel is upward, above the variation experienced by the general CPI in baby and children’s (prendas de vestir para bebé y niño) and women’s apparel (prendas de vestir para mujer) in the month of April.
- The monthly variation in baby and children’s and women’s apparel is 16.9% and 13.1%, respectively, compared to March.
- All apparel subsectors have become more expensive in April and March 2021, although to a greater extent baby and women’s apparel, which have suffered a considerable increase in the month of April compared to March, experiencing a small decrease in the month of February compared to the month of January.
- The trend in footwear is also upward, very similar to the variation experienced by the general CPI in men’s (calzado para hombre) and women’s footwear (calzado para mujer) in April.
- The monthly variation in baby and children’s footwear (calzado para bebé y niño) stands at 8.4% and in men’s and women’s footwear at 7.4% and 6.5%, respectively, compared to the month of March.
- All footwear subsectors have become more expensive in April and March 2021, although to a greater extent men’s and women’s footwear, and to a lesser extent baby and children’s footwear. All of them have suffered a considerable increase in the month of April compared to March, experiencing a small decrease in the month of February compared to January.
In the United States, the annual variation of the CPI in apparel and footwear, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, grew in the month of April for the first time in 2021 and 2020, standing at 1.9%. Despite this, there was a decrease in apparel and footwear prices in the month of April -0.1%, which contrasts with the increase that had been occurring in the months from January to March 2021, bringing cumulative inflation since January to 5.4%.
This is in line with the annual rate of change of the general CPI in the United States, which in April 2021 was 4.2%, with the monthly change in the CPI being 0.8%, so that cumulative inflation in 2021 was 2.5%.
Thus, the overall CPI in the U.S. has recorded its strongest growth in years and the CPI for apparel and footwear has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Note: General CPI and CPI for apparel and footwear.
Therefore, the trend in both markets is upward, with clothing and footwear prices rising in Spain and in the United States from the beginning of 2021.