The nation's top 10 apparel retailers, fortified by recent mergers, increased their market share by more than a third since 1990, growing from 35% of sales to 47% in '98, said NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y. Of those top 10, six chains led by J.C. Penney Co. make $9 out of every $10 of U.S. apparel sales. Wal-Mart Stores jumped to second place last year from sixth in 1990, while specialty chain The Gap moved onto the list in the No. 10 spot. NPD Group said the new lineup and clout positions the chains well as "on-land'' stores try to move strategically to capture burgeoning online sales.
Copyright April 1999, Crain Communications Inc.