Apparel is a $173 bln industry in 2004

According to The NPD Group, apparel sales totaled $173 bln in 2004, a 4% increase from $166 bln in 2003. Throughout the nineties, the apparel industry witnessed steady growth, peaking in 2000 at nearly $176 bln. In 2001, apparel sales took a major dip in dollars and the downward trend continued for two years due to low consumer confidence, increasing unemployment rates and consumers’ lack of passion for fashion. Across gender segments, men’s and women’s clothing sales both showed growth, while children’s apparel sales were flat. In 2004, men’s apparel sales produced over $49 bln, up from nearly $47 bln in 2003, over a 5% increase in dollars. Women’s apparel sales earned almost $95 bln in 2004, up from $90 bln the previous year, nearly a 5% increase in dollar sales. Children’s apparel sales were $29 bln, showing the same sales from 2003.