Summary

There’s a significant divide in the apparel industry between the sizes available in stores and the sizes women wear—a divide that’s becoming increasingly important as retailers seek to differentiate themselves from fast fashion and Amazon.
Over two-thirds of American women fit into the plus-size category, but plus-sizes represented just 17% of women’s clothing sales in 2015—a 50 basis point gap. At the same time, according to NPD data assembled by Bloomberg, sales of plus-size clothing have been growing at a faster rate than all women’s clothing since 2014. Today, the plus-size market is worth over $17.5 billion. If plus-size sales grow to close the gap, retailers could be looking at a $51.5 billion shift. Because 78% of plus-sized women say they would be willing to spend more money if more options were available in their size, this growth is definitely possible.
While many other brands and retailers are struggling with growth, what’s keeping retailers from grabbing this clear opportunity? There are a litany of possible reasons, ranging from the more difficult manufacturing process for plus-size apparel to historical industry elitism. But as consumer spending shifts away from apparel and brick-and-mortar shopping, retailers can’t afford to keep overlooking the plus-size demographic.

This report looks at:

  • What’s happening in the plus-size market and why does it matter to the larger consumer ecosystem?
  • What do new developments in the plus-size market mean for brands, investors and real estate developers and what should they do to take advantage of it?

Featuring case studies on Dia & Co., Eloquii, Forever 21, H&M, Lane Bryant, Stitch Fix and Zara

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