Blacks Retail Analysis

Clothing Drives Early Fall Menswear Market

Clothing sales up over 11% in August; Sportswear climbs almost 6%. Furnishings continue 90-day decline.

San Francisco, CA, October 04, 2006 --( Demand for clothing boosted sales in better menswear stores in August, offering a strong start to the early fall season, according to exclusive data from Blacks Retail Analysis (

Clothing sales were up 11.2%* for the month, but up only 1.4% over the 90-days ended August 31, indicating that sales were slow until the early fall merchandise arrived.

“Stores that positioned early fall merchandise were rewarded this season with high margin sales,” said Blacks Senior Consultant Steve Pruitt.

Early fall Sportswear also performed well, increasing nearly 6% in August, compared to a 1.2% increase over 90 days.

Despite the uptick in Clothing, Furnishings continue to decline. Sales of Furnishings slipped nearly 2% in August, and 4.4% in the June through August period. However, Blacks predicts that the furnishings business will turn positive as Clothing continues to thrive.

Looking forward, the positive Clothing trend should produce better-than-expected trunk shows in coming weeks.

“Again, the merchants with fresh assortments will be winners when the trends turn,” Pruitt said.

*All numbers represent 2006 year-over-year data

Blacks Retail Analysis
Scarlet Pruitt
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