NEW YORK — Retailing, by its very nature, is a Darwinian proposition, and the hunt is always on for new retail concepts.

The Gap has said it is reducing expansion and is making no commitments for 2003. (For the first time in 2 1/2 years, the company last week posted positive same-store sales results.) Eddie Bauer, Wilsons Leather and BCBG are pruning locations, and J. Crew’s expansion is on hold. In addition, the first wave of so-called entertainment retailers has hit the skids. The Disney Store is scaling back its chain from a high of more than 500 stores in the U.S. to about 350 by 2005. Warner Bros. Studio Store was phased out last year, and the Discovery Zone was forced into bankruptcy.

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