Opportunities and Challenges in the Apparel Retail Sector

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Slow holiday sales, fears about the Euro Crisis spreading, and increasing volatility in the global commodities markets have hit the retail apparel market hard. The National Retail Association predicts that retail sales should increase approximately 3.4% - from $2.45 trillion to $2.53 trillion - in 2012, with sales remaining far below the traditional 5.5% or more rates of growth seen during traditionally economic times. Furthermore, experts predict that the 3.4% increase will be due, at least partly, to simply an increase in the price of goods, not an increase in demand. Apparel retailers will need to adjust in order to maximize profitability in the face of these tough economic conditions..