This really comes as no surprise. Consumers are now finding apparel less
affordable, as they cope with a fast-changing economy where their sense
of wealth has diminished along with home prices, according to today’s WWD.
part of the picture emerging from findings of The NPD Group, whose
chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen observed, "Apparel is no longer a
primary purchase. People would rather spend $350 on a handbag and $29
on jeans — if they even buy the jeans at all."
Our "false sense of wealth" is evaporating along with the declining
values of our homes. In February apparel became the thing shoppers
cited as putting the third-biggest strain on their wallets, following
food and entertainment such as concerts, theater and sports events.
"We’ve lost a lot of the impulse and feel-good shopping [for clothes],"
Cohen said in an interview.By NPD’s measure, impulse spending accounts for
about one-in-four apparel purchases made by the country’s consumers.
While eight in 10 adults among the nationally
representative group said they think we’re in a "bad economy," or
heading there, only one in five said they’ve changed many or all of the
places where they shop. Four in 10 expressed worries over their jobs or
times such as these, Cohen said, it’s becoming more important for
apparel marketers to "educate people as to why buying an item is
important. It is no longer just about the brand’s image."