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AAFA Releases ApparelStats 2013 and ShoeStats 2013 Reports

January 5, 2014


Arlington, VA - The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) today released its ApparelStats 2013 and ShoeStats 2013 reports, serving as snapshots of the U.S. apparel and footwear industry market trends for 2012. ApparelStats and ShoeStats examine the latest business and trade information related to U.S. consumption, production, employment, imports and retail prices.


"Four million Americans help you get dressed every day," said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. "And increasingly complex global value chains mean that those four million Americans are working harder than ever to bring American families the clothes and shoes they want and need."


"As a result," said Burke, "apparel and footwear contributed $354 billion to the U.S. economy in 2012, a bigger contribution than new cars, fast food, or practically any other industry."


Building on the turnaround first seen in 2011, U.S. manufacturing of apparel (+8.5%) and footwear (+9.0%) continued to grow in 2012. Thanks to that growth, the import penetration, or the percentage of the U.S. market that is supplied by imports, declined slightly again in 2012 for both apparel and footwear, continuing the first-ever declines in import penetration witnessed in 2011.


"While reshoring efforts are making a measurable impact in the apparel and footwear industry, the vast majority of products are still made outside our borders," said Burke. "Trade agreements with our global partners remain a large part of the sourcing decisions made by executives every day. The average duty rate paid on all imports hovers at just over one percent, yet the average rate for U.S. footwear imports was still more than 10% in 2012 and more than 13% for U.S. apparel imports. As companies continue to diversify away from China, increased utilization of Free Trade Agreements and passage of commonsense legislation such as the Affordable Footwear Act will benefit everyone, from the four million Americans in our industry to hardworking American families who buy clothes and shoes for their children and themselves."


Key facts from ApparelStats 2013:

  • While U.S. apparel consumption by volume declined slightly in 2012, the value of that consumption (measured by Personal Consumption Expenditures) grew by 4.8 percent to $282.2 billion at retail.  This continued growth reflects both the increase in retail prices driven by higher supply chain costs, including increases in materials, labor, and transportation, as well as consumers returning to purchases of apparel at higher price-points coming out of the recession.
  • 97.5 percent of apparel sold in the United States is made internationally. Thanks to a continued growth in U.S. apparel manufacturing, that was a 0.2 percent decline from 2011.
  • China remains the # 1 global market for U.S. cotton exports, the #2 global market for U.S. yarn exports and the #3 global market for U.S. fabric exports.
  • Overall U.S. apparel employment grew for a third straight year, by 0.8 percent in 2012, to a total of 2.91 million American workers, yet remains below pre-recession levels.
  • On average, every American, including every man, woman, and child in the United States, spent $898 to purchase 62 garments in 2012.

Key facts from ShoeStats 2013:

  • U.S. footwear consumption by volume for 2012 dropped slightly (0.6 percent) to 2.31 million pairs of shoes, but still remained 10.5 percent higher than the recession-level consumption experienced in 2008 and 2009.
  • The value of U.S. footwear consumption grew by 4.9 percent to a record $72.4 billion at retail, due to a number of factors, including increased costs throughout the supply chain resulting in higher retail prices and consumers continuing their return to purchases of shoes at higher price-points as they continue to come out of the recession.
  • Import penetration of the U.S. footwear market was 98.6 percent in 2012. Thanks to a continued growth in U.S. footwear manufacturing, that was 0.1 percent decline from 2011.
  • U.S. footwear imports from China declined 2.7 percent in 2012. Yet, China still remains the largest supplier to the U.S. footwear market, accounting for more than 8 out of 10 shoes sold in the United States.
  • Overall U.S. footwear employment grew for a third straight year, by 1.3 percent in 2012, to a total of 1.02 million American workers, yet remains below pre-recession levels.
  • On average, every American, including every man, woman, and child in the United States, spent $230 on seven pairs of shoes in 2012.


ApparelStats and ShoeStats represent just a small portion of the many exclusive benefits offered for free to AAFA members. Non-members may order ApparelStats 2013 andShoeStats 2013 for a nominal fee by contacting Darrell Sumpter at (703) 797-9050. Complimentary reports are available to credentialed members of the media by contacting Scott Elmore at (703) 797-9056.







About AAFA


Representing more than 1,000 world famous name brands, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) is the trusted public policy and political voice of the apparel and footwear industry, its management and shareholders, its four million U.S. workers, and its contribution of $350 billion in annual U.S. retail sales.  


AAFA stands at the forefront as a leader of positive change for the apparel and footwear industry.  With integrity and purpose, AAFA delivers a unified voice on key legislative and regulatory issues. AAFA enables a collaborative forum to promote best practices and innovation. AAFA's comprehensive work ensures the continued success and growth of the apparel and footwear industry, its suppliers, and its customers.  Learn how AAFA wears our mission at