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Womenswear Leads Rebound in Sales of Better Apparel & Accessories


Growth in womenís apparel outpaces menís by 5.8% in July. 90-day sales of womenís accessories surge over 22%.

San Francisco, CA, August 31, 2006 --(PR.com)-- Sales of better apparel and accessories rebounded in July, led by strong growth in womenswear, according to the latest data from Blacks Retail Analysis (www.BlacksRetailAnalysis.com).

Sales of women’s apparel surged 8.4%* in July, compared to a 2.6% increase in menswear. Women’s accessories grew by 5.2% during the month, and showed a 22% sales leap in the 90 days ended July 31.

Although sales of accessories slowed last month against the 90-day trend, Blacks expects accessories to continue to lead women’s sales after initial apparel purchases are made.

“Accessories are performing well because they are only category showing real newness,” said Blacks Senior Consultant Steve Pruitt.

Men’s apparel made a modest gain in July, increasing by 2.6%, compared to the 1.5% increase measured in the May to July period. Men’s sales grew at roughly the same pace across clothing, sportswear and furnishings.

New soft jackets have initially sold very well. “Although this category has been trending for three seasons, it looks as if there is still growth to be had,” Pruitt said.

As retailers get deeper into the fall season, Blacks predicts that sweaters and jackets will perform well, while dress pants and furnishings will continue to stagnate.

* All numbers represent 2005 year-over-year data

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