A report entitled Women Special Sizes recently released by the market research company The NPD Group Inc., indicates that women who categorize themselves as plus size are generally underserved by clothing retailers. The report says that two-thirds of the , using a representative women sample they surveyed classified themselves as using ‘special sized’ clothing, and that a third of the latter consider themselves as plus size – the highest size in women’s special size group.
Even the increase of special size clothing brands in traditional outlets is apparently not enough, as market demand for larger-sized designed brands and styles are still on the rise. This demand comes from women of all ages who want to garb in the latest fashion styles and who have the means to pay for comfortable and expensive clothing in sizes that fits their body sizes. NPD chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen says, “Despite the fact there has been an increase in plus size offerings through some traditionally ‘regular sized’ brands, the demand for designer brands and styles in larger sizes is still in full swing.”
What is notable in the NPD report is the fact that large women seem to prefer the usual brands of clothes rather than labels that specialize only in plus size offerings: a mere 39% of such women prefers the exclusive plus size brands, while around 86% want styles that are similar to those sold in smaller size brands. About 62% of respondents reports difficulty in finding the styles they wished for, while 63% says that shopping for plus size clothing is more stressful than buying regular size clothes. Around 56% of those surveyed bewailed the difficulty in finding good quality plus size clothing.
The NPD report highlights the need for clothing brands to cater to all the sizes and styles the market demands. With the projected increase in people body sizes in the future, getting into the plus size market is indeed a nice stroke for companies looking for growth opportunities.