Swedish fashion retailer KappAhl  has the biggest share of the country's clothing retail market, at 7.8 per cent, according to market research company GfK Sverige.

Swedish retailers Lindex and Hennes are its closest competitors, holding 7.7 per cent and 7.3 per cent shares in the market respectively.

Norwegian men's retailer Dressman came fourth, with a 4.3 per cent share in the market, whilst Swedish apparel chains JC AB and MQ followed with 2.8 per cent and 2.4 per cent market shares.

KappAhl, which opened its first store in 1953, is owned by Co-operative Union and has 124 stores in Sweden, 73 in Norway, 31 in Finland and nine in Poland.

It reported a pre-tax operating profit of SEK120 million for 2003.