Fashion emergency: Prepare to pay more for clothes after the holidays
Clotheshorses already have Project Runway, but coming soon will be project runaway prices. That's right, once the holiday season is over, get ready to pay higher prices for clothes. Less competition among stores, rising labor costs in developing countries and inventory control mastered during this recession all mean retailers will be able to raise prices again and mark down fewer items -- at least until the boom-bust cycle starts all over again.
"The recession will leave behind this industry with far fewer players and new rules," said Richard Beckman, CEO of Fairchild Fashion Group, the publisher of retail bible WWD. At the recent WWD Apparel/Retail CEO Summit, one speaker after another urged retailers to hold off on markdowns and start bringing up prices.