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With all the talk about retailers passing through higher costs, we’re hardly seeing trends improve on the margin. Specifically, the last two months of apparel CPI have decelerated on the margin – at the same time we’re looking at our fourth consecutive quarter of inventories growing ahead of sales.  We still have about a year – that 12 months last we checked – before cost compares get ‘easy’. The apparel industry can’t afford to see its CPI roll until next summer. We have 3 quarters of earnings between now and then.

Apparel Pricing: Negative Trend - Retail vs. CPI