A clothing industry survey suggests that America’s clothing industry has seen its worst downturn since the financial crisis.
The Clothing Manufacturers Association of America (CMA) released its annual survey Thursday and found that sales of apparel and footwear declined in March.
The survey also found that the industry’s net income fell by 3.9 percent in March, its lowest point since the recession began in 2008.
“The U.S. apparel industry is struggling, with sales at apparel retailers down by more than 2.5 percent from the previous month and a year ago,” CMA president and CEO Robert Diller said in a statement.
“This slowdown has been exacerbated by a combination of a slowing economy and rising costs.
Our survey indicates that the apparel industry continues to suffer from the economic downturn, which is driving sales down.
We believe the downturn is more than just a temporary setback, and we believe that the economic recovery will eventually return.”
Diller added that the manufacturing industry was “shifting away from the consumer and toward the service sector.”
He also said that while some retailers were struggling to make ends meet, the rest of the industry was doing just fine.
“We have seen more than 200 companies with annual sales of $100 million or more, and they have seen that demand pick up,” Diller told CNBC.
“There are companies that are going into the recession, but they’re making a profit.”
The clothing industry is an industry that’s been in decline for decades.
The decline in clothing sales has been blamed on rising costs of consumer goods and a shrinking number of consumers who prefer to wear clothing outside the home.