Clothing costs set to rise by spring of next year

Cheap clothing ins on the way out, experts warn.

It is no secret that women love to shop, with the average female spending £1,000 a year on clothes.

But that may be about to change, as retailers warn that the price of clothes could soar by next spring for the first time in almost a generation.

Budget retailers like Primark have announced that prices could rise by as much as 5% due to rising transport costs, the weakness of the sterling, and the proposed increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20% from January 2011.

George Osborne’s plan to increase VAT was quickly denounced by many businesses, charities and consumer groups, but he has defended his actions, insisting: ‘The years of debt and spending have made this unavoidable.’

While retail experts said the rise was ‘dangerously counterproductive’, some economists pointed out it was one of the easiest and most efficient ways to raise extra revenues.

We have not seen a rise in clothing prices since 1991, and according to the Office for National Statistics, clothing prices fell by 7.7% last year.

Richard Kirk, chief executive of Peacocks, said that cotton garments such as t-shirts, shirts and dresses would be hit hardest by mark-ups as global cotton prices have jumped as shortage bites.

Kirk added that he expects clothing prices to rise by 5% while Carl McPhail, Chief Executive of New Look, suggested an increase of at least 2.5%.

Unfortunately for us it seems women all over the world will be finding it harder than ever to pick up a good bargain come the New Year.

So what does this mean? Is it our cue to bulk buy T-shirts, or should we use this price hikes to help control our spending? Whatever your thoughts, share them by posting a comment below.

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