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Consolidation, sharper pricing, new competition, private label’s comeback and brand-conscious shoppers are shaking up the $4.4 billion outerwear retail business.<br><br>Then there’s the weather factor, which has chilled bones lately, but...

Consolidation, sharper pricing, new competition, private label’s comeback and brand-conscious shoppers are shaking up the $4.4 billion outerwear retail business.

This story first appeared in the January 20, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Then there’s the weather factor, which has chilled bones lately, but has warmed the hearts of coat makers. Meanwhile, firms are cooking up fresh styles to inspire more purchases this year. Here, from the new Oscar for Oscar de la Renta outerwear collection, a leather jacket with a ribbed knit collar.