(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Shoe sales this August posted a slight increase after plummeting 4.5 percent in July. Consumers spent 0.5 percent more on shoes this back-to-school season compared with August 2008.
According to a recent report titled Annual 2008 Trends released by the American Apparel & Footwear Association, which provided a statistical and narrative analysis of the U.S. apparel industry, in 2008 the average consumer purchased seven pairs of shoes compared to eight pairs of shoes during 2007.
Kevin M. Burke, president and CEO of the AAFA, said that in tough times, the shoe and apparel industries suffer. “Whenever hard working American families are squeezed financially, clothing and shoes are consistently the first things to be crossed off the shopping list,” he stated. “Our industry took a serious hit this year.
“Our research shows more needs to be done to stimulate retail sales and restore consumer confidence. Just by quickly passing the Affordable Footwear Act alone, Congress has the unique opportunity to immediately lower shoes prices by eliminating regressive and hidden import tax on most children's and low-cost shoes.”
Introduced in 2007 and supported by the AAFA, if passed the Affordable Footwear Act would end the shoe tax and the “expensive” import tariffs on lower-to-moderately-priced and children's footwear, to “ultimately lower the price of shoes,” according to the AAFA. The association reported that 99 percent of footwear sold in the United States is imported with 80 percent coming from China, which causes “U.S. footwear firms [to] pay the U.S. treasury more than $1.9 billion in duties every year.”
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