Companies in this industry operate physical retail establishments that sell clothing and accessories. Major companies include TJX Companies (TJ Maxx, Marshalls), Gap, and L Brands (all based in the US), along with Hennes & Mauritz (Sweden), Inditex's Zara chain (Spain), and Arcadia Group's Topshop (UK).
Revenue for the global apparel and footwear industry is expected to hit $2 trillion by 2018, with emerging markets accounting for a majority of the industry's growth, according to Euromonitor International.
The US clothing store industry includes about 100,000 stores with combined annual revenue of about $190 billion.
Personal income and fashion trends drive demand for clothing. The profitability of individual companies depends heavily on effective merchandising and marketing. Large companies can offer wide selections of clothing and have advantages in purchasing, distribution, and marketing. Small stores can compete by offering unique merchandise, targeting a specific demographic, providing superior customer service, or serving a local market. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 70% of industry revenue.
Competition for the clothing store industry includes department stores, discount and outlet stores, and internet and catalog retailers. The online and off-price apparel sales channels are growing rapidly, especially among younger women who are major consumers of apparel. Off-price buyers account for 75% of apparel purchases across all retail channels, according to research firm The NPD Group. Off-price is second only to the online channel in terms of growth rate, NPD...