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).
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.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include women's clothing (about 50% of industry revenue), men's clothing (about 20%), and clothing for children and infants (about 10%). Other sources of revenue include accessories such as hats, caps, costume jewelry, gloves, handbags, ties, wigs, and belts. Some clothing stores also sell shoes and cosmetics.