June Footwear Prices Drop as Amid Back-to-School Season Nears – Sourcing Journal

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Inflation in June rose at slowing rate, and footwear retail prices saw a decrease for the first time in more than two years.

Consumer prices rose 3 percent in June compared to last year, according to the latest Consumer Price Index released on Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This marks the smallest 12-month increase since the period ending March 2021 and a slowdown from May’s 4 percent growth and April’s 4.9 percent. Compared to May 2023, prices in June rose 0.2 percent.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, the Core CPI rose 0.2 percent from May and 4.8 percent from the same month in 2022.

The progress comes as retailers gear up for the 2023 back-to-school season, which is likely to be characterized by shoppers looking for the best deals. KPMG’s 2023 Consumer Back to School survey found that shoppers plan to spend on average about $377 per kid this season, which is up 21 percent from a year ago. More than 60 percent of respondents report being concerned about inflation, with 70 percent of them looking for early discounts and 57 percent looking for cheaper brands.

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Retail footwear prices dropped 0.9 in June compared to the prior year, marking the first time prices dropped in 26 months. Women’s footwear prices dropped 0.2 percent and men’s declined 1.6 percent. Just in time for back-to-school, children’s footwear prices dropped 0.8 percent.

According to the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA), year-to-date footwear prices are up just 0.2 percent and are expected to decline year-over-year through the second half of 2023. In April, FDRA noted a large gap between import costs and retail prices, which FDRA predicted would level out.

“With retail footwear prices certainly not likely to go sharply higher, we continue to look for these import costs to remain soft well through 2023, narrowing this gap even further,” Gary Raines, chief economist at FDRA, told FN.

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Online prices in June also fell 2.6 percent year-over-year, according to data from Adobe on Tuesday. This marked the biggest drop since since May 2020 when prices fell 1.5% year over year. Compared the May, online prices fell 1.3 percent in June.

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