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  1. #1 Clothing Prices to Rise Like Crazy Starting in Spring 
    Clothing groups warn on cotton surge impact

    By Jonathan Birchall in New York

    Published: February 13 2011 19:31 | Last updated: February 13 2011 19:31

    US clothing companies are warning of a jolt in consumer prices in the latter half of this year, affecting everything from socks to evening dresses, as the soaring cost of cotton ends a prolonged spell of price deflation in the sector.

    Some US clothing brands have started passing on an initial wave of price increases in their spring collections, after last year’s initial escalation in cotton prices.

    But the groups say they expect far sharper rises later this year as the surge in commodity prices moves through the production process and into stores.

    Cotton hit a record high on Friday, topping $1.90 a pound amid a shortage of the fibre.

    The cost of the commodity has risen 150 per cent since the start of 2010.

    Efforts by manufacturers to reduce costs by switching to cheaper alternative materials have also led to sharp price increases in polyester and other synthetic fibres.

    Wesley Card, chief executive of Jones Group, whose brands include Nine West and Anne Klein, told the Financial Times that after single-digit percentage price rises in some areas in the spring, consumers would be looking at “price increases pretty much across the board” by the end of the year, with percentage rises as high as double digits.

    “It’s going to be relatively broad-based because it affects all denim, no matter what price point, all items including cotton and footwear as well,” he said.

    Mike Ullman, chief executive of JC Penney, the mid-range department store, has said the company avoided price increases this spring but faces challenges in the autumn.

    “If the cotton price is going to be double what it was a year ago, it will obviously affect retail prices,” he told the FT.

    Executives say the clothing industry is as yet unsure about how consumers will react to price rises, after becoming accustomed to prices that have fallen steadily during the past decade due to the emergence of low-cost overseas production and the rise of China.

    John Anderson, chief executive of Levi Strauss, said last week that it was too early to calculate the impact because “the consumer hasn’t had a chance to respond to those [prices] yet.”

    Mr Card at Jones Group said price increases could vary from as little as $2 on a pair of low-cost jeans at a discounter to $15 on an $80 jacket at a department store.

    “It is hard to see where the price elasticity is going to meet resistance at this point,” he said.
    Financial Times
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  2. #2  
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    Time for a stock up trip at Eileen Fisher. :)
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    Time for a stock up trip at Eileen Fisher. :)
    This could actually be a good thing in the long run. All this cheap labor has produced really low quality clothing over the past 10 years. If people pay more, maybe they will demand better quality at the same time. Maybe we can move away from "disposable fashion".

    If things really change significantly, I'll consider upgrading my sewing machine next year. I've been toying with the idea for a few years anyway.
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    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    I don't know. Clothes are cheap right now because they are moving to clearance faster. People don't buy clothes when the economy is bad, at least not expensive clothing in adult sizes. Why would the manufacturers raise prices on clothing if they aren't sure they're going to be able to sell it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    Time for a stock up trip at Eileen Fisher. :)
    I just stocked up on an ETF (exchange traded fund) for agriculture commodities (RJA) that includes cotton, wool, etc this am.

    Inflation is getting ready to bite us in the butt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    I don't know. Clothes are cheap right now because they are moving to clearance faster. People don't buy clothes when the economy is bad, at least not expensive clothing in adult sizes. Why would the manufacturers raise prices on clothing if they aren't sure they're going to be able to sell it?
    Many raw materials like cotton have increased in price over 50%. Manufacturers can not eat that big of an upsurge in price. Crop failures due to very bad weather conditions this year, hoarding and demand are the reasons for the increases.
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    Senior Member hoplophobe's Avatar
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    Glenn Beck was talking about this more than 2 years ago.

    http://www.glennbeck.com/content/art...icle/196/9251/

    Talking with the writer of this column:

    Load Up the Pantry
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1208...googlenews_wsj

    One interesting point he makes during the interview:
    A number of the items that your family, a typical family is going to live on, things like, you know, spaghetti, dried spaghetti, cans of tuna fish, cans of soup, this kind of stuff, is rising in many cases by 5 or even 10% a year and there’s no particular reason to think that’s going to fall. In fact, it’s much more like — that rate of inflation is likely to increase. On the other hand you are keeping your money in the bank and you are earning 3% before tax if you are lucky. Particularly, you know, as a result of the subprime and all the rest of it, interest rates have come down. You are losing money in a savings account. You are falling behind inflation. You know, you get 3% before taxes, you are getting 2% maybe after tax and yet the things you need to buy have just gone up by 10%. You are running to catch the bus and the bus is speeding up.
    Putting off buying jeans and shoes and other items? Buy them now and store it away for later use.
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  8. #8  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    I bought enough military surplus work clothes this winter to last me several years.
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
    http://i.imgur.com/FHvkMSE.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by lacarnut View Post
    I just stocked up on an ETF (exchange traded fund) for agriculture commodities (RJA) that includes cotton, wool, etc this am.

    Inflation is getting ready to bite us in the butt.
    I don't think I caught on to this soon enough, and I'm afraid that RJA and it's cousins may not go as far as some think. I show, like, a 70% rise in RJA in a year, but maybe it'll keep on going.

    I did get in on XLE (energy) and XME (mining and equipment) on time. I'm still sitting on them.....

    Ya gotta do something to offset what's gonna crang us between the eyes.:)
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  10. #10  
    Best Bounty Hunter in the Forums fettpett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    I bought enough military surplus work clothes this winter to last me several years.
    how do the pants hold up?

    not that I could find them in my size :(
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