STRETCHING OUT: DEPARTMENT STORES SEEKING COMFORT FROM INDEPENDENTS.
NEW YORK — Comfort’s probably the most comfortable place to be for independents these days.
While other niche retail segments struggle against intense big-box competition, comfort’s niche players are thriving, thanks to their formidable formula of highly specialized product and top-notch service.
Overall dollar sales in the comfort market grew 6.7 percent in 2003, but the segment’s expansion has been especially robust at shoe stores. The channel’s dollar sales increased 19.7 percent last year, according to consumer purchasing data from Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group. (Besides independents, NPD’s data for …
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group