Big opportunities for big clothes
LONDON, UK: A quarter of all ladies' clothes sold in the UK in 2011 will be plus size*, as women are getting larger, finds Verdict, one of the Datamonitor group of companies.
A new report** from the independent retail analyst has revealed that the share of plus size clothing in the overall womenswear market is increasing, rising from 18.7% in 2006 to 23.2% in 2011. Sales will continue to grow over the next five years to reach nearly £6 billion*** by 2015.
Carly Syme, analyst at Verdict, said: "Retailers are looking to expand their niche collections such as petites, maternity, and plus size to ensure growth and increase revenue. Our research has revealed that it is the plus size market that offers the biggest opportunities for growth. This year alone we expect the market to grow by 6.0% to £4.9 billion."
The research predicts that while growth in the plus size market will begin to slow, reflecting trends in obesity levels, it will remain strong, rising by 28.6% between 2010 and 2015. While the weakened economy will have an impact on the market, particularly as the Office for National Statistics reports larger women tend to be less affluent, drivers such as obesity levels, and an ageing population in a society where women tend to get bigger as they get older, will more than offset this.
Syme continued: "Many retailers already have strong plus size ranges, but there are still significant opportunities. While there is a large proportion of the plus size market that is made up of older shoppers demanding more classic designs, there is also an increasing need for more fashionable plus size items for younger shoppers, who are currently underserved."
Notes and references
*The plus size market includes all female clothing sized 18+, whether sold in a specifically designed range, such as New Look's Inspire, or as part of a core clothing line, such as George at Asda. Products included in our market are tops, trousers, skirts, suits, outerwear, knitwear, and underwear.
**UK Niche Clothing Segments 2011
***Exchange rate at time of posting on site: £1=R10.82.
Source: © Verdict 2011