By  on February 17, 2009

It’s a Darwinian world in the apparel universe as juniors manufacturers and retailers try to elbow aside the competition for oxygen in the form of sales, which are in free fall. Apparel sales for women ages 13 to 17 fell 6.4 percent to $36.2 billion from December 2007 through November 2008 compared with the same period a year prior, according to The NPD Group.

The dismal drumbeat of headlines heralding the closure of retailers including California-based Mervyns and Tennessee-based Goody’s Family Clothing Inc. are prompting clothing lines to rewrite their game plans to stay afloat. Nowhere is the urgency more evident than at WWDMAGIC, where a number of juniors manufacturers are bracing themselves — some more optimistically than others — for the challenging environment.

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