A LITTLE PIZZAZZ

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So you've found the perfect skirt, blouse and shoes, but there's still something missing from the ensemble? Adding a belt, a watch or any number of items from the accessories department just might do the trick. According to New York City-based Accessories magazine, American women snatched up some $27 billion in fashion extras in 2002. Garnering the largest share of the market was jewelry (both costume and bridge), which fetched $7.2 billion at retailers nationwide. Other sectors with sales in excess of a billion bucks include handbags ($5.1 billion), hosiery ($4.4 billion), watches ($3.6 billion) and even sunglasses ($2.1 billion). And don't forget about hats ($846 million), belts ($625 million), scarves ($607 million) and hair accessories ($421 million); lower sales don't mean they're not fabulous. Although consumers may have shied away from fashion extras post-Sept. 11, if industry analysts are correct, sales will be perking up this year as Americans begin to bring the sparkle back into their lives. Even in a down economy, say experts, accessories provide a relatively cheap way to update a wardrobe.

KNOT ANYMORE!

Americans bought 20 million fewer neckties last year than they did in 2000.

2000 (MILLIONS) 2001 (MILLIONS) 2002 (MILLIONS)
Unit sales 61.5 58.5 41.4
Dollar sales $1,141 $910 $793
Source: NPD Group

CATCHING RAYS

Mass merchants sell 10 times as many sunglasses as opticians, but at one-tenth the price.

RETAIL CATEGORY* DOLLAR SALES (MILLIONS) UNIT SALES (MILLIONS) AVG. PRICE
Sunglass specialty $598.4 6.2 $96.52
Optical $371.5 3.1 $119.84
Mass merchants $329.0 30.5 $10.80
Sport specialty $157.0 4.7 $33.40
Dept. stores $132.8 4.9 $27.10
Industry total $2,100 95.3 $21.56
*Includes leading sunglass retailers in 2002.
Source: Sunglass Association of America

FOREVER FASHION

Nearly half of young Americans wear a permanent fashion accessory.

PERCENT OF ADULTS WITH A TATTOO OR A NON-EAR PIERCING, BY AGE:

18-29 43%
30-49 16%
50+ 9%
Source: American Demographics survey, 2001

ERSATZ PEEPERS

There are 34 million Americans who wear contact lenses; of those, 9 percent wear colored contacts or cosmetic lenses.

PERCENT OF CONTACT USERS WHO WEAR COSMETIC LENSES:

Men 5%
Women 11%
All 9%
Source: NFO WorldGroup/CIBA Vision

A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND

Jewelry retail sales by select product lines:

(BILLIONS)
Diamonds $11.7
Karat gold $7.1
Watches $3.5
Gemstones $3.2
Pearls $1.2
Source: Unity Marketing, 2001

PURSE SNATCHING

2001 handbag market share, by retail outlet:

RETAIL SHARE DOLLAR SALES
Department stores 30% $1.85 billion
Mass retailers 20% $945 million
Specialty stores 20% $900 million
Specialty chains 15% $680 million
All other 15% $710 million
Total 100% $5.02 billion
Source: Accessories magazine
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