Shoe Prices Rise Slightly in January, Driven by Increase in Women’s Category

Shoe prices ticked up slightly in January in tandem with overall consumer retail prices, according to the latest data from the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA).

Last month, retail footwear prices rose at a decelerating rate in January, up less than 0.1 percent from a year earlier. This comes as higher prices for women’s footwear, which increased 1.4 percent, were offset by declines in men’s shoes, down 0.3 percent, and boys’ and girls’ footwear, down 1.6 percent.

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In addition to moderating inflation, declining duties are another key factor weighing on retail footwear prices, the FDRA noted. Average duties per pair on footwear imports declined year over year for the ninth straight month in December, helping contain increases in retail footwear prices.

“Looking ahead, while domestic retailers’ footwear inventories are relatively high, they have declined considerably over recent quarters as footwear imports have sharply fallen,” Gary Raines, chief economist at FDRA, told FN. “While we expect footwear demand will remain on the defensive well into this year, we look for footwear imports to fade further in coming months, suggesting inventories will decline further, helping return some margin and pricing power to footwear retailers deeper into the year.”

Steve Lamar, president and chief executive officer of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), added that Tuesday’s numbers are a sign that more needs to be done by the government in order to tamp down inflation. “In today’s continued inflationary climate and with ongoing logistics challenges, it’s time to remove existing tariff barriers and prevent new ones from being imposed,” Lamar said.

This latest rise in footwear prices comes at the same time the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that overall retail prices increased slightly in January from the previous month.

The bureau’s latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) saw prices increase 0.3 percent last month from December and up 3.1 percent from the same month last year. This is the second-slowest increase in 34 months.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, the core CPI rose 0.4 percent in January and 3.9 percent from the same month in 2023.

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