It was the year that mass ruled, and no retailer did it better than Wal-Mart. The chain became the world’s largest company during 2002, which is one of the reasons why it is WWD’s inaugural Newsmaker of the Year. And its continued expansion had an impact on many of the year’s Top 10 news stories, from Kmart’s bankruptcy to the problems at Gap to the continuing debate about the future of department stores. For more on our Newsmaker of the Year and the top 10 news stories, see Section II.

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