By  on August 26, 2009

Fast-fashion specialty retailers “with exceptional speed-to-market” have outperformed department stores and less nimble specialty stores not only in their profit margins, but also in their pace of revenue growth, according to a study by The Sage Group LLC’s Apparel and Retail Group.

Surveying results from 47 retailers, all of them publicly held and the overwhelming majority of them based in the U.S., Sage found in the last 12 months, the five stores with the best EBITDA margin — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as a percentage of sales — were Hennes & Mauritz, at 23.4 percent; The Buckle Inc., at 22.5 percent; Zara operator Industria de Diseno Textil SA (Inditex), at 20.3 percent; Urban Outfitters Inc., at 19.8 percent, and Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., owners of Uniqlo, at 18.6 percent.

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