Women’s clothing prices jump as inflation hits Britain

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Clothing and other items

Women feel the most pressure on the high street, as the prices of their clothes are rising at a faster rate.

While headline clothing inflation rose to 8.8%, prices for women’s clothing jumped 12%, according to the ONS. The cost of shoes increased by 9.1%, with an increase of 11% for women’s shoes.

Clothing stores are passing on higher wage, shipping and energy costs, with retailers also offering fewer discounts than last year when the UK was on lockdown. Martin Beck, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM club, said the rise in clothing and footwear prices “reflected unusual seasonal price patterns”.

Several retailers, including Next and Superdry, have warned they will have to raise prices as the cost of raw materials rises, with the former predicting a 3.7% rise in the first half of this year and 6% in the latter.

The price of a standard men’s crew neck t-shirt from Next has already dropped from £6 to £6.50 since last May. Primark, the discount fashion giant, has pledged to freeze prices.

Rising raw material costs pushed furniture prices up 15% year-on-year, while carpet and flooring costs jumped 9%. The price of Ikea’s Malm double bed frame has fallen from £129 in March 2021 to £179.

White goods are suffering from supply shortages and rising raw material prices, affecting their multiple components and complicated production chains.

AO.com’s top-rated washing machine, a Bosch Serie 8, costs £920, 15% more than the £799 charged at the start of last year.

However, the site’s most popular fridge-freezer, a Swan Retro model, is unchanged at £449.

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