Selling Teen Spirit

At clothing retailer Pacific Sunwear, the surf is up--and so are profits. Can it hold the hip-hop crowd?

Regular readers of the financial pages might be forgiven for thinking the sun has not set for the past few fiscal years. In describing the improving fortunes of teen-clothing retailer PacSun, pun-happy headline writers have frequently alluded to the company's tendency to rise, shine, blaze and heat up. Pacific Sunwear, as it is more formally known, continued the perpetual daylight when it announced last week that its second-quarter profits jumped 84% compared with the same period last year. Sales also increased at hefty double-digit rates, up nearly 23%, to $234.4 million.

The performance was especially impressive in light of the generally...

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