Ho-Hum Season Sees Drop in Women's Apparel Sales

With less money to spend on family, women pull back on purchasing for themselves
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 17, 2007 2:07 PM CST
A shopper walks by a clothing store at the Independence Mall in Kingston, Mass., Thursday afternoon, Dec. 13, 2007.   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Women's spending on apparel for the first half of the Christmas season is down, alarming retailers and spawning broad worry in the industry. Experts blame a bleak economy and blah fashions for a slump of nearly 6% compared with a year ago, reports the New York Times. Men’s clothing sales, on the other hand, rose 4.5% in the first 20 days of the season.

In other good news, sales of electronics rose 5.8% and luxury item spending was up 10.8%, MasterCard said in its midseason snapshot. E-commerce, the star of the season, was up 30%. About $285 million has already been spent on holiday purchases. Retailers expect spending to rise 4% this year, the worst growth in 5 years.