I love this photo and it's so true! Style has no size! In today's world, the most common size in women's apparel is a size 16. Over 67% of American women wear a size 14 or above and yet only 18% of the clothing sold was Plus size. (E-Marketer Retail)
The Plus size community is underserved not only in apparel choices, but also in style, value and an appealing shopping environment. Retail needs to catch up! Retailers that continue to focus on the S-M-L-XL consumers will never capture their market share of the women's fashion business. Plus size has been treated as an afterthought.
Generally, small independent brands are more successful in the Plus size market than the big box stores. Focusing on the Plus size customer will provide growth opportunities in the fashion industry that have not been present in any other sector for a long time.
There have been some myths surrounding Plus size clothing as well. When items didn't sell, retailers blamed lack of demand rather than their ability to meet it. Retailers must get into the Plus size game with both feet. They must proudly display that they carry Plus size clothing and they must let their customers, and more importantly, their potential customers, know that they have it.
According to market research by ModCloth, 77 percent of plus-size women say it is difficult to find well-fitting garments; 73 percent say sizing is inconsistent across brands (and it is); and 81 percent say the would spend more on clothing if they had more options for their size. (CNBC)
Plus size women have money to spend, they are loyal customers and they will promote your store to their friends. This is one area where you are not competing strictly on price, competing with big box stores or going head to head with on-line retail. Because of the size discrepancies across brands and the idiosyncrasies in fabrics and designs, Plus-sized items are almost always subject to being tried on.
In conclusion, if you're not selling Plus sized clothing in your store, you're losing money.
Image 1 Credit: UK Plus Size Fashion Week 2015 in association with Evans, boohooPlus and Make Believe Beauty.
Image 2 Credit: Curvy Divas - West Fargo, ND