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Prices on Luxury Handbags and Sleepwear Rise as Retail Tries to Right Itself

Brands and retailers across the globe have been dealt heavy blows throughout the Covid crisis, but they’re hoping new pricing strategies can help turn the tides.

Retail is attempting to course correct after months of margin-busting deep discounts that have damaged brand value, according to data from fashion intelligence platform Edited.

Luxury labels are looking to their loyal, cash-flush consumers to help shoulder the burden of flagging sales, Edited said. Brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci have announced amendments to their pricing strategies for handbags in Europe, the U.K. and China as a means of offsetting the cost of raw materials and making up for losses in the first half of the year. In July, average handbag prices in the U.S. saw a 12 percent increase, while in the U.K., they ballooned by 18 percent.

Conversely, luxury footwear prices have begun to decline. In July, Edited data shows that average prices on designer kicks dipped 2 percent in the U.S. and nearly 1 percent in the U.K. American online shoppers have seen a significant decrease in prices across women’s sandals, which are down 5 percent, men’s boots, down 4 percent, and men’s and women’s sneakers, which have decreased in price by 3 percent.

Of the luxury brands analyzed, Gucci’s year-over-year decrease stands out, analysts said, with an average footwear price point of $773.50 this year versus last year’s average of $885.74.

U.S. shoppers have been prioritizing practical, comfortable apparel since many began working from home in March, and prices on sleepwear, loungewear and athletic apparel are growing to reflect demand.

Retailers have elevated the price of sleepwear as homebound consumers have been prioritizing self care and turning to Netflix instead of nights out. Women’s bathrobes in particular have seen a 33 percent increase in price—beginning before the outbreak—as brands began pushing more options made with sumptuous, luxurious fabrics.

The Scandinavian concept of Hygge, or cozy comfort, has been popularized in recent years, contributing to the appetite for lounging at home. Pricing for pajama sets for men and women has also risen by 18 percent and 8 percent, respectively, and Edited expects they will continue to rise with demand during the holiday season.

According to Edited, the groundwork for the loungewear takeover was already laid before the pandemic struck. But demand has exploded as shoppers continue to work, play and do much everything else from home. Prices for men’s and women’s hoodies have increased by 1 percent, men’s sweatshirts have seen a 2 percent increase and women’s sweatshirts have increased in price by 3 percent.

Notably, men’s sweatshorts have seen an 8 percent increase during the lazy summer months, while prices for women’s sweatshorts have climbed 4 percent. Women’s sweatpants, however, have seen a 5 percent decrease in price. Edited noted that the category has become saturated, and therefore, more competitive.

When it comes to activewear, the top five product categories at major U.S. sports retailers show an average decline in price of 3 percent, compared to six months earlier. According to Edited, items like leggings, performance sneakers and sports bras have seen up to 2 percent fluctuations, while sports jackets for women have seen a sizable 25 percent drop in price. Meanwhile, tank tops for men and women have increased in price by 3 percent, perhaps due to the increasingly high temperatures across the country and the trend toward seamless women’s apparel.

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