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Report: Women Refuse to Pay Retail Price for Apparel and Footwear

Women might be willing to pay more for designer sweatpants, but with shoes and other types of apparel it’s a different story.

A new report from Fung Global Retail & Technology and First Insight concluded that in womenswear price resistance among consumers is increasing.

The study found that there is a significant gap between the manufacturer’s suggested retail price and the prices consumers are willing to pay for them. Looking across all womenswear categories between January 2013 and June 2016, consumers on average were willing to pay only 76 percent of the full price.

Fung and First Insight claim that consumers not seeing the value of paying full price was the key driver of the markdown challenge that has been plaguing retailers and brands. Unsurprisingly, the MSRP of women’s tops and bottoms fell by 14 and 13 percent, respectively, during the course of the study.

The study did find however that the growth of athleisure and the “casualization of womenswear” is encouraging women to spend more on sportier apparel. Consumers were willing to pay 82 percent of the planned MSRP for knit bottoms (like sweatpants).

Footwear consumers have been increasingly resistant to retail prices. As of June 2016, consumers were willing to pay only 74 percent of the MSRP, two percent lower than the overall average.

The study concluded that there will be continued growth in footwear with athleisure as performance technologies are integrated with streetwear and workwear styles.