Private labels are increasingly present in the clothing departments of the major US retail chains, eyewear included. The phenomenon is actually spreading in a whole variety of segments, including household articles, furniture and food. A study carried out by AC Nielsen shows that the overall share of private labels on the US market grew by 16.3 percent between 2000 and 2004 - twice the growth rate recorded for brands ? from $43.6 billion in March 2000 to $50.7 billion in March 2004. The percentage of private labels in the clothing departments of the major retail chains ranges from 80 percent for Target to 55 percent for Sears, 40 percent for J.C. Penney and 20 percent for Kohl's. The Chicago office of the Italian Institute of Foreign Trade (ICE) estimates that in 2003 imports of private label products to the USA amounted to around $9.7 billion, with Canada and Mexico in the lead followed by Italy in third place with 3.8 percent of the whole, worth a total of $369 million.