THE CATEGORY WINNERS
THESE STORES PACKED THE PUNCH IN KEY MERCHANDISE AREAS.

NEW YORK--Women are shopping smart.
More often than not, for a wide variety of their own apparel needs and those of their families, they're shopping J.C. Penney first.
But not for everything.
For jeans, many will opt for The Gap. For some sexy lingerie, many will visit Victoria's Secret. For better and designer labels, Macy's and Nordstrom rate higher than Penney's.
However, Penney's still scores high because its private labels have gained wide recognition and are perceived as national brands. Here are the top five stores in each of eight apparel categories, based on the survey's findings:

BEST IN SPORTSWEAR, CASUALWEAR
1. J.C. Penney
2. Mervyn's
3. Wal-Mart
4. Target
5. Kmart

BEST IN ACTIVEWEAR, BODYWEAR
1. J.C. Penney
2. Mervyn's
3. Target
4. Wal-Mart
5. Kmart

BEST IN CAREER CLOTHING
1. J.C. Penney 2. Macy's
3. Nordstrom
4. Dillard's
5. Casual Corner

BEST IN SUITS, DRESSES
1. J.C. Penney
2. Macy's
3. Nordstrom
4. Dillard's
5. Lord & Taylor

BEST IN SWIMWEAR
1. J.C. Penney
2. Macy's
3. Sears
4. Mervyn's
5. Dillard's

BEST IN JEANS
1. The Gap
2. J.C. Penney
3. Mervyn's
4. Wal-Mart
5. Sears

BEST IN INTIMATE APPAREL
1. Victoria's Secret
2. J.C. Penney
3. Mervyn's
4. Macy's
5. Sears

BEST IN BETTER BRANDS, DESIGNER
1. Macy's
2. Nordstrom
3. J.C. Penney
4. Dillard's
5. Dayton Hudson

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