Weak Outlook for Apparel Names

The Mixed-Gender Apparel Category Lost About 200,000 Names in the second quarter of 2009, according to New York-based list brokerage services firm ParadsyzMatera. That sounds bad, but the current 17.9-million name universe is an 11.9% rise from the second quarter of 2008.

Why was there a rise from 16 million names in one year? For one thing, J. Crew added its retail-generated names to its mailing list in early 2009.

J. Crew wasn’t the only mixed gender mailer to see significant house file growth. ParadyszMatera’s research shows 26% of mixed gender mailing lists grew 19% or less, and 18% of files have seen 20%-plus growth since the second quarter of 2008.

For instance, between the second quarters of 2008 and 2009, Urban Outfitters grew its 12-month buyer file 28%, to 812,000; while Moosejaw Mountaineering increased its house file 73%, to 143,000.

Then again, more house files are seeing a decline rather than a lift: One-third of 12-month buyer files lost 10% or less of their names, 19% of lists declined 11% to 19%, and 4% of lists lost more than 20% of their names.

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