As the effect of stimulus dollars wanes and consumers spend more on services, demand for goods like apparel could slow, according to a recent report by Cotton Incorporated. Consumer spending pattern have changed, with stimulus supporting increased spending on goods. The shipping crisis has also made it difficult for retailers to keep up with consumer demand.
Retail apparel prices have been higher year-over-year, but most of those gains were due to reflating to make up for the collapse with the onset of COVID. Inflation in prices for other spending categories may sap income available for clothing purchases, Cotton Inc said in its Supply Chain Insights – Cotton, Apparel & Inflation.
After decades of relative price stability, consumers are grappling with a surge in inflation after COVID and the war in Ukraine. While prices for apparel have not moved far beyond their pre-COVID levels, budgets available for spending on clothes are being impacted by price increases for non-discretionary goods and services.
Additionally, concerns about having product on shelves have now evolved into concerns about inventory accumulation.