The Martians are Coming! Wal-Martians, we mean. The behemoth retailer, although mired in controversy over labor issues, still tops the list of stores people head to for most of the stuff they buy. According to BIGresearch, Wal-Mart started off the year with a bang, leading the retail industry in sales of men’s and women’s clothing, shoes (even discount shoe marketer Payless comes in second), and groceries. The giant from Bentonville, AR, also hogged the health and beauty care sector with a 35.1% share of the market in January, knocking rivals CVS (6.0%) and Walgreens (5.7%) out of the running.
Flying High The American air cargo industry has taken off. A U.S. Dept. of Transportation report says that air freight is the fastest-growing segment of the cargo business. The value of air freight moved in the U.S. doubled from 1993 to 2002 and now amounts to $2.7 billion a day. The cargo industry as a whole is no slouch either: Between 1993 and 2002, the quantity of freight transported grew 18%, to 16 billion tons. During the same period, small parcel carriers did even better, posting a 56% increase in the value of shipments under 500 lbs.