This industry consists of establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of specialized apparel and accessories, such as bathing suits, belts, raincoats, riding and other sports apparel, T-shirts, umbrellas, uniforms, and wigs and toupees. This industry also includes men's and women's custom tailors.
Included in Apparel Manufacturing Subsector Based on Type of Garment Produced
Other Clothing Stores
Clothing Accessories Stores
A few of the items that are categorized within this industry are uniforms and work clothing, costumes and wigs, sports apparel, customized clothing and apparel, custom tailoring, including custom shirts, designer apparel, formal wear, leather garments, square dance apparel, costumes, masquerade or theatrical, marine apparel, and military goods and regalia. The sector that includes miscellaneous apparel and accessory stores represents the majority of retail stores, as well as market share. That was followed by sports apparel, which represented more than 15 percent of the market.
In 2001 the U.S. Census Bureau reported 5,860 establishments engaged in the retail sale of specialized apparel and accessories. The industry employed approximately 28,860 people. Those industry figures grew in 2004 to 6,646 establishments employing more than 34,000 people. The majority of establishments were small—employing less than five people.
Four leading companies in industry sales reflect the diverse products represented in this classification. Ventura, California-based Lost Arrow Inc., best known as the parent holding company of Patagonia, focuses on clothing and active wear for outdoor sports and activities. In addition to Patagonia, Lost Arrow subsidiaries include Water Girl, a clothing and swimwear manufacturer for women, and Lotus Designs, which specializes in clothing and accessories for water sports enthusiasts. Life Uniform Co. of St. Louis, with 250 stores spread over 38 states, focuses on high quality uniforms and scrubs for the medical industry. Crazy Shirts Inc., a Waikiki-based company that emerged with the 1960s surfing boom, has 38 unique shops spread internationally, primarily selling T-shirts. Norcostco Inc., headquartered in Minneapolis, supplies costumes, theatrical makeup, and wigs, as well as stage lighting, lamps, dimming systems, and automated lighting, and manufactures stage drops and draperies, rigging systems, fog machines...