By  on June 26, 2008

Urban contemporary specialty stores are facing a tough challenge as department stores such as Macy's and Dillard's flex their larger muscles in the market. Three years ago, chains such as D.e.m.o. and Mony were major players in the sector; their operations have since shuttered or dwindled. According to The NPD Group, a market research firm based in Port Washington, N.Y., total U.S. apparel sales were $192.7 billion for the 12 months ended April 30. Of that amount, $3 billion is hip-hop, with 60 percent of that targeted at men's hip-hop. Fashion also is changing, as younger consumers begin to take more interest in collections from Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Victoria Beckham and Mandy Moore. Below, a look at those urban contemporary retailers that still dominate the specialty scene.

1. UNDERGROUND STATION
Number of stores: 176

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