I wonder what it costs to make a pair of shorts

Soon, we are going to shovel our way out of here and head for the beach. In preparation, I bought my son a few new pairs of shorts. The shorts I found were great—they look good, the quality is decent enough, and they fit him well (yea for slims!) The best part is that they were marked down to $2.99.

At first, I though there were some numbers missing, but the salesperson confirmed that they were in fact selling shorts for under $3 a pair. I realize that shorts are out of season where I live, but really, $3?! It’s not that I am complaining, but I can’t help but wonder if they can even make shorts that that little money. When I go to the fabric store (which I admit is close to never), it seems like decent fabric doesn’t get much cheaper than $7 a yard.

Even if you factor in the fact that they buy materials in bulk, they still had to pay someone to design the shorts, someone to make the shorts, someone to ship the shorts, and someone to sell the shorts. Then there are the costs of the tags and the hangers (which they threw in as part of the deal). Those shorts should also pay their fair share of the store’s facility costs and advertising expenses (along with a bunch of other costs I am probably forgetting).

So, why don’t they just send the shorts to Florida or Arizona and sell them for full price? Or put them in a box and get them out for next year? Or sell them online?

Are they just trying to cut their losses or are shorts really so cheap to make that they are still making money at $2.99 a pair?

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.