Plus-sized Fashion: The Fashion Industry is Increasingly Catering to the Plus-sized Demographic

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According to a new report from industry research firm IBISWorld, a number of clothing companies are innovating online, changing stocking practices, store sizes and invading niche markets like plus sized clothing to boost margins. According to IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research, as disposable income grows; new clothing stores will open to meet the growing demand for apparel and plus-size styles along with locally based designers and eco-friendly fashion will represent a growing opportunity for operators. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Plus-Size Women's Clothing Stores industry to its growing Apparel & Accessories Stores report collection.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

The fashion industry is increasingly catering to the plus-sized demographic by using larger models on the runway and in magazine spreads

According to a new report from industry research firm IBISWorld, a number of clothing companies are innovating online, changing stocking practices, store sizes and invading niche markets like plus sized clothing to boost margins. According to IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research, as disposable income grows; new clothing stores will open to meet the growing demand for apparel and plus-size styles along with locally based designers and eco-friendly fashion will represent a growing opportunity for operators. For this reason, industry research firm IBISWorld has added a report on the Plus-Size Women's Clothing Stores industry to its growing Apparel & Accessories Stores report collection.

Like most retailers, women's clothing stores are not recession-proof. Revenue has declined at an average annual rate of 1.1% over the five years to 2011 to an estimated $40.6 billion. The skyrocketing unemployment rate and the reduction in per capita disposable income pushed consumer sentiment down significantly. This trend led to diminished demand for discretionary products, including women's clothing.

However, according to IBISWorld analyst, Nikoleta Panteva, the plus-sized fashion industry segment is bucking the trend. Retailers in this industry specialize in plus-size women’s clothing, which is clothing proportioned specifically for larger women, including plus-size dresses, plus-size pants, plus-size tops and plus-size outerwear. “The fashion industry is increasingly catering to the plus-sized demographic by using larger models on the runway and in magazine spreads,” says Panteva. “This has already spurred demand from the plus-size market, so stores that can meet this need will also find a place in the domestic industry.” The plus-size market still has some way to go to really hit the big time. Many plus-size stores remain isolated in strip malls and shopping centers and the recession hurt the largest plus-sized clothing retailer – Charming Shoppes – forcing the closure of many stores. About 75.0% of its merchandise caters to the plus-size demographic. The company operates about 2,100 retail outlets in 48 states under three distinct brands: Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines Plus Sizes. In addition to closing 150 underperforming stores in 2008, the retailer halved its budget for new store openings during 2009. Company growth post-recession will arise from its ability to sell to a growth market. With half of American women wearing size 14 or larger, the company's focus on plus-size apparel will continue to be its key advantage.

The Plus-Size Women's Clothing Stores market research report from IBISWorld provides key industry analysis and industry statistics, measures market size, analyzes current and future industry trends and shows market share for the industry’s largest companies. IBISWorld publishes the largest collection of industry reports so you can see an industry’s supply chain, economic drivers and key buyers and markets.

For more information, download the full report from IBISWorld on the Plus-Size Women's Clothing Stores industry

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IBISWorld Industry Market Research Reports Contain:

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle

Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets

Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry

Major Companies

Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity

Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.ibisworld.com or call 1-800-330-3772.

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James Karklins
IBISWorld
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