By  on September 13, 2007

Web sales of apparel, accessories and footwear reached $18.3 billion last year and are expected to grow to $22.1 billion this year, according to Forrester Research. Nielsen//NetRatings has provided the rankings of retailers who recorded the highest online apparel and accessories purchases in July. Trends among the top 10: outdoorsy brands L.L. Bean and Lands' End, along with women's apparel names, such as Victoria's Secret, Lane Bryant and Coldwater Creek. Macy's, Wal-Mart and Target ranked 13th, 17th and 22nd, respectively. "What we have noticed is that bricks-and-mortars are definitely closing the gap and becoming more competitive in the online world," said Larry Freed, president and chief executive officer of ForeSee Results Inc., an online satisfaction research firm.

1. EBAY

Total apparel and accessories purchases in July: 2.98 million

Average spent per buyer: $35.83

"EBay continues to be the biggest online retailer, almost with a vengeance — every month is huge for them," said Heather Dougherty, senior analyst for retail and travel, Nielsen//NetRatings. Since its inception, San Jose, Calif.-based eBay has expanded to include some of the strongest e-commerce brands, including PayPal, Skype, shopping.com and others. EBay's online auction marketplace is saturated with well-known designer apparel and accessories names. Items currently up for bid include a black Chanel Cambon reporter bag, sterling silver open heart earrings by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. and a Prada White Label dress.

2. VICTORIA'S SECRET

Total purchases: 663,000
Average spent per buyer: $177.74

Chairman and chief executive officer Leslie Wexner has redirected the focus of Limited Brands Inc. The Columbus, Ohio-based company sold off its Limited and Express stores to focus more on its innerwear and beauty offerings from Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. The retailer also includes Henri Bendel, C.O. Bigelow, White Barn Candle Co. and La Senza in its portfolio of brands. Victoria's Secret offers more than just innerwear: Swimwear, shoes, beauty products and various apparel pieces are also available on the site. Victoria's Secret ranks second behind Coldwater Creek, in terms of the average amount spent per buyer.

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