NEW YORK — After a couple of years of explosive growth, driven in part by the advent of the low-rise look and the rise of some powerhouse high-end brands, the jeans business got a bit tougher in 2002.

A number of factors played into that trend. One was a matter of supply and demand: After all that frenzied jeans buying, Americans had quite an assortment of jeans in their wardrobe — more than 10 pairs on average, by one estimate. Another was that the mercurial juniors’ shoppers suddenly seemed a little bored with the category, which led their purchasing to slip.

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