Catalogers will find relevant insights to ponder in a recent report from The NPD Group, Port Washington, NY, which highlights details on last year's modest apparel sales activity. According to the respected industry tracker and custom solutions researcher, the marginal overall apparel industry sales increase of 4.7 percent for 1998 was marked by slipping sales among women in the 25-44 age group. Sales to women in that age group have continued to fall in each of the past four years, down 3 percent overall since 1996. And sales to women 25 to 44 represented 35 percent of all women's wear apparel sales for the entire year.
According to The NPD Group report, the real growth in overall clothing sales came from strong performing casual segments, including men's sportswear and women's knit tops, which saw a double digit gains.