Necktie sales plummet

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As the unemployment rate increased last year, retail analysts predicted that
more men would buy new neckties to dress up their old suits.

But the opposite happened, according to marketing research firm NPD.

Suit sales in the U.S. rebounded to end 2009 virtually unchanged from a year earlier, an improvement after years of decline.

The tie industry, on the other hand, had one of its worst years on record.

The number of ties sold in the U.S. fell 18 percent in 2009, to 29 million, more than double the 7.3 percent drop in 2008. Revenue fell 16 percent, to $418 million, down from a peak of more than $1 billion in the mid-1990s, when power ties ruled the day.