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Footwear Prices Stumble in March

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Though overall inflation rose in March, according to data just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, footwear prices continued their move downward.

Overall inflation increased by a more-than-expected 1.5% in March, much of it due to housing and food price increases. Though energy prices were tamed a bit, the core inflation rate, which excludes food and energy, rose by 1.7 percent.

The price index for apparel swung from a 0.4 percent drop last month to a 0.8 percent increase in March.

Footwear prices, however, dropped by 1 percent, their fifth straight month of decline.


Women’s footwear prices edged down by 0.4% in the month, while men’s footwear prices fell by 1.2%.

The infant’s and children’s category, the only one to sustain an increase, rose 0.7%. This was driven by an increase in baby footwear. The index for boy’s and girl’s prices dropped 1.6%.


The footwear sector, which has seen prices decline for several months now, has become increasingly oversupplied and competitive. Many apparel brands have added footwear to their collections as a way to grow sales, and the growth of e-commerce players like Zappos, Shoes.com and the online store at DSW has allowed consumers to shop around for the best price.

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