US footwear prices on the rise
The cost of shoes in US stores is currently increasing every month.
Image © Wavebreakmedia | iStockphoto.com
Overall consumer prices in the USA grew by 5.4 per cent in September compared to the same month in 2020, according to the US government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cost of footwear has also been rising since July, with shoe prices reported to be 6.5 per cent higher in September year-on-year. Women’s footwear cost 4.9 per cent more, shoes for men had increased in price by 5.5 per cent and children’s footwear went up by 11.9 per cent.
This 6.5 per cent price rise in September followed hikes of 5.1 per cent in August and 4.6 per cent in July, when compared to the same months in 2020. In June, women’s footwear prices were 7 per cent higher than in June 2020, which the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) highlighted as being the sharpest price increase in over three decades.
A number of reasons are cited as causing these inflated prices, including higher wages for retail workers and growing import charges and duties. For example, a general shortage of workers has led to a number of retailers offering better pay and benefits in order to attract and maintain members of staff, forcing prices to rise in order to compensate for the extra outlay.
In addition, footwear import charges are said to have risen to USD146.3 million (GBP106.5 million) during August – the seventh consecutive monthly increase. Duties also grew for the sixth month in a row in August to become USD320.6 million (GBP233.4 million).
A global shortage of rubber and plastic has also contributed to the problem by driving up prices for some raw materials. This has boosted production costs, while making it hard for manufacturers to make sufficient footwear to meet demand. The fall in production has been exacerbated by workforce shortages and factory shutdowns in some Asian countries.
This article was originally published on page 2 of the November 2021 issue of SATRA Bulletin.