Six Retailers Capture Nine of 10Apparel Dollars in Department Store Sales In 1998, six department stores controlled90 percent of all apparel sales in this channel, up from 66 percent in 1995, andconsolidation in the U.S. retail market has made the nation's largest retailers morepowerful than ever before, according to the findings of a new report from the NPD Group.While this merger mania raises the stakes for manufacturers - which now must deal with asmaller retail base wielding more clout - it should help retailers prepare to support thecontinued growth of on-line selling.