Most of the Apparel Industry is Missing Out on a $20 Billion Opportunity
Apparel brands and retailers blaming all their woes on the so-called race to the bottom and consumers’ penny-pinching ways should stop and ask themselves if they’re truly catering to the public. After all, how can shoppers be at fault for not wanting to buy clothes that don’t fit?
Try this stat on for size: The average American woman now wears between a size 14 and 34, according to Plunkett Research, which put paid to the long-held belief that she wears a size 14. Don’t believe it? NPD Group said annual sales of women’s plus-size apparel—that’s size 14 and higher—is up 17 percent to $20.4 billion this year. And that growth has outpaced overall apparel sales.
In fact, nearly twice as many American girls ages 13 to 17 are buying plus-size clothing today compared with 2012, NPD discovered, and while that’s partly to do with the growing number of overweight teenagers, it’s also down to the fact that plus-size offerings have improved, albeit slightly.
Don Howard, executive director at fit expert Alvanon, said there’s a simple reason why brands are slow to move into the plus-size arena.
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