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Fashion - Size Matters! - UK - July 2010

  • In the last five years, Mintel estimates that the plus-size market for womenswear (sizes 18+) has increased by 45% to £3.8 billion in 2010. Compared to growth in the overall womenswear market of 15%, this is a very strong performance and shows the increasing importance of plus-sizes to the overall clothing market. Larger-size menswear has grown steadily by 6% to £1.9 billion between 2005 and 2010.
  • While older people are more likely to wear plus size clothing, a growing number of women aged 35-44 also buy plus sizes and more than a third of men aged under-35 wear XL sizes. Retailers need to start designing more trend-led clothing for this younger age group, with these consumers tending to be more fashion aware than older people.
  • More than half of plus-size women continue to suffer from a lack of choice to cater for their size, suggesting that retailers have not done enough since the last Mintel report, which found a similar rate of discontent about lack of choice, to provide a greater range of clothes and specific collections for these consumers.
  • Over four in ten women that wear sizes 18 and over find that clothes in their size tend to be less fashionable than smaller sizes.
  • One in five women blame their trouble finding clothes to fit on an awkward body shape, with size 14s and 16s suffering most from a different top to bottom size.
  • Discontent about inconsistencies in clothes sizes between brands and retailers is on the rise and has been fuelled by media coverage of the increased use of vanity sizing by retailers. Retailers need to work in collaboration to regain the confidence of consumers over sizing.
  • Online retailer ASOS has tapped into the plus-size market with the launch of a new range of trend-led plus-size clothing branded as ASOS Curve. The collection is likely to appeal to younger, more fashion-conscious women who remain unsatisfied with the current offering.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Main themes
        • Definitions
          • Abbreviations
          • Future Opportunities

              • The virtual tailor
                • Accurate and convenient
                  • Go robotic
                    • Reality Check
                      • Social networking/horizontal communities
                      • Market in Brief

                        • Women’s plus-size market outperforms
                          • Larger menswear shows steady growth
                            • What has been driving growth?
                              • Non-specialists move too slowly
                                • Specialists continue to suffer
                                  • Discontent over inconsistent sizes grows
                                    • Women struggle to buy clothes that fit
                                      • Plus-sizes suffer from lack of choice
                                        • Four main target groups
                                          • What will happen to the market
                                            • Who will do well?
                                              • Who will underperform?
                                                • Where are the opportunities?
                                                • Internal Market Environment

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Britons becoming bigger
                                                      • Figure 1: Percentage of adult population, in England with BMI of over 30, by age group, 1999, 2003, 2008
                                                      • Figure 2: Percentage of overweight and obese adults, in England by BMI, 2003-08
                                                    • Childhood obesity on the rise
                                                      • Figure 3: Children’s overwieght and obesity prevalence, 2003-08
                                                    • Two in five women trying to lose weight
                                                      • Larger sizes put comfort over style
                                                        • Plus-sizes spend less on clothes
                                                          • Figure 4: Agreement with statements on personal appearance, 2009
                                                          • Figure 5: Agreement with statements on personal appearance, 2009
                                                      • Broader Market Environment

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Ageing population to boost market
                                                            • Figure 6: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2005-15
                                                          • Socio-economic changes
                                                            • Figure 7: Trends in the socio-economic structure of the UK adult population, 2005-15
                                                          • PDI and consumer spending
                                                              • Figure 8: GDP, PDI, consumer expenditure and savings, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                          • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                                            • Strengths
                                                              • Weaknesses
                                                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                • Launch of more trendy plus-size ranges
                                                                  • Use of technology to help improve fit
                                                                    • Clothing designed to slim larger sizes
                                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • Plus-size womenswear outperforms
                                                                          • Figure 9: Retail sales, plus size womenswear, compared with all womenswear and over-55s clothing, at current prices, 2005-10
                                                                        • Four in ten over-55 women are plus-size
                                                                          • Menswear sees steady growth
                                                                            • Figure 10: Retail sales, plus size menswear, compared with all menswear and online clothing and footwear, at current prices, 2005-10
                                                                          • Online clothing market growth slows
                                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Market segmentation
                                                                                • Plus-size womenswear reaches £3.8 billion
                                                                                  • Figure 11: UK sales of plus-size womenswear at current and constant 2010 prices, 2005-15
                                                                                • The petites market shows stable growth
                                                                                  • Figure 12: UK sales of petite womenswear at current and constant 2010 prices, 2005-15
                                                                                • Larger menswear grows steadily
                                                                                  • Figure 13: UK sales of large-sized menswear at current and constant 2010 prices, 2005-15
                                                                                • The future
                                                                                  • Plus-size womenswear to grow by 20%
                                                                                    • Figure 14: Forecast of plus-size womenswear at current prices, 2005-15
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Forecast of plus-size womenswear at current and constant 2010 prices, 2010-15
                                                                                  • Petites market to grow at rate of womenswear
                                                                                    • Figure 16: Forecast of petite womenswear at current and constant 2010 prices, 2010-15
                                                                                  • Larger menswear to continue growing steadily
                                                                                    • Figure 17: Forecast of plus-size menswear at current prices, 2005-15
                                                                                    • Figure 18: Forecast of plus-size menswear at current and constant 2010 prices, 2010-15
                                                                                  • Factors used in the forecast
                                                                                  • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Figure 19: Expenditure on advertising, by non-standard size clothing specialists, 2005-10
                                                                                    • Specialists spend again in 2009
                                                                                        • Figure 20: Expenditure on advertising by non-standard size clothing specialists %, by media, 2005-10
                                                                                      • Specialists rely on direct mail
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Visitors to apparel websites, top 20 and plus-size specialists, July 2010
                                                                                      • Internet browsing habits
                                                                                      • Retail Competitor Analysis

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Non-specialists
                                                                                            • Specialists
                                                                                              • Menswear
                                                                                                • Figure 22: Leading clothing retailers, 2009-10
                                                                                                • Figure 23: Leading non-specialist clothing retailers, 2009-10
                                                                                                • Figure 24: Specialist plus, tall and petite clothing retailers and selected mail order operators, 2009-10
                                                                                            • Companies and Products

                                                                                              • Leading specialists
                                                                                                • Ann Harvey
                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Profile of visitors to Annharveyfashion.co.uk, May 2010
                                                                                                  • Artigiano
                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Profile of visitors to Artigiano.co.uk, May 2010
                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Financials for Scala Collections, 2008-09
                                                                                                    • Elvi
                                                                                                      • Evans
                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Profile of visitors to Evans.co.uk, May 2010
                                                                                                        • Long Tall Sally
                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Profile of visitors to Longtallsally.com, May 2010
                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Financials for Long Tall Sally, 2008-09
                                                                                                          • N Brown
                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Profile of visitors to N Brown websites, by age, May 2010
                                                                                                            • Yours Clothing
                                                                                                                • Figure 32: Profile of visitors to Yoursclothing.co.uk, May 2010
                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Financials for Yours Clothing, 2008-09
                                                                                                            • Consumer – What Types of Retailer They Shop At

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Type of store where majority of clothes are bought by women, April 2010
                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Type of store where majority of clothes are bought by men, April 2010
                                                                                                                • Over half shop at mid-market retailers
                                                                                                                  • Value retailers remain popular
                                                                                                                    • Up-market stores draw more men
                                                                                                                    • Consumer – What Clothes Sizes are Bought

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Women
                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: UK clothing sizes bought, by women, April 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: UK clothing sizes bought, by women, April 2010
                                                                                                                          • A quarter of women are plus-size
                                                                                                                            • Tops and bottoms similar size
                                                                                                                              • Age is the main factor
                                                                                                                                • Social grade and income reflected in sizes
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: UK clothing sizes bought, by women, by age and socio-economic group, April 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Men
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: K clothing sizes bought, by men, April 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: UK clothing sizes bought, by men, April 2010
                                                                                                                                    • One third of men are plus-size
                                                                                                                                      • Men’s size related to age
                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Who Shops Where by Size

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Brands or retailers where clothes are bought, by gender, April 2010
                                                                                                                                          • Value retailers lead the pack
                                                                                                                                            • Supermarkets show dedication to plus-sizes
                                                                                                                                              • Marks & Spencer popular among plus sizes
                                                                                                                                                • Department stores alienate largest sizes
                                                                                                                                                  • Next fails to attract plus-sizes
                                                                                                                                                    • Specialists mainly used by sizes 20+
                                                                                                                                                      • Where plus-size women shop
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Brands or retailers where clothes are bought, by UK women’s clothing sizes, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • Size 20s prefer to shop at specialists
                                                                                                                                                        • Where plus-size men shop
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Brands or retailers where clothes are bought, by UK men’s clothing sizes, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • XXL men prefer Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – How They Feel About Shopping for Clothes

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by gender, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Discontent over inconsistent clothes sizes
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK women’s clothing sizes, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Trying on to check for fit is key
                                                                                                                                                                • Plus-sizes see less barriers to shopping online
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK men’s clothing sizes, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                  • Lack of choice in a wide range of sizes
                                                                                                                                                                    • Women struggle to buy clothes that fit
                                                                                                                                                                      • Concerns with body shape
                                                                                                                                                                        • More popular sizes sell out
                                                                                                                                                                          • Plus-sizes less fashionable than standard ranges
                                                                                                                                                                            • Plus-size women forced to shop online
                                                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Shopping for Clothes

                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Women more body-conscious than men
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK women’s clothing sizes, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Use of larger models
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Plus-size women want large mannequins
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Women buy clothes to look slimmer
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Alteration services may prove popular
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK men’s clothing sizes, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Little demand for separate areas for plus-sizes
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Large women dislike asking for their size
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Identifying targets
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Marketing targets based on clothes size issues, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Unconcerned (45%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Size Conscious (15%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Little Interest (21%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Image Conscious (19%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Internal Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Agreement with statements on personal appearance, by demographics, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer – What Types of Retailer They Shop At

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 52: Type of store where majority of clothes are bought, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Consumer – What Clothes Sizes are Bought

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 53: UK clothing sizes bought by women, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 54: UK clothing sizes bought by men, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Next most popular UK clothing sizes bought by men, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Who Shops Where by Size

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Brands or retailers where clothes are bought, UK women’s clothing sizes 4-14, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Brands or retailers where clothes are bought, UK women’s clothing sizes 16+, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Brands or retailers where clothes are bought by UK men’s clothing sizes S-XL, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Brands or retailers where clothes are bought, by UK men’s clothing sizes XXL+, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Most popular brands or retailers from which clothes are bought, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Next most popular brands or retailers from which clothes are bought, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – How They Feel About Shopping for Clothes

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK women’s clothing sizes 4-14, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK women’s clothing sizes 16+, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK men’s clothing sizes S-XL, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK men’s clothing sizes XXL+, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by type of store where majority of clothes are bought, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Most popular attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Next most popular attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Shopping for Clothes

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK women’s clothing sizes 4-14, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK women’s clothing sizes16+, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK men’s clothing size S-XL, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by UK men’s clothing size XXL+, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Statements about buying clothes, by type of store where majority of clothes are bought, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Most popular statements about buying clothes, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Next most popular statements about buying clothes, by demographics, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Brands or retailers where clothes are bought, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: UK clothing sizes bought by women, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 78: UK clothing sizes bought by men, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Statements about buying clothes, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Brands or retailers where clothes are bought, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 82: UK clothing sizes bought by women, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 83: UK clothing sizes bought by men, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 84: Attitudes towards shopping for clothes, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 85: Statements about buying clothes, by target groups, April 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 86: Target groups, by demographics, April 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Aldi Stores Ltd (UK & Ireland)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Alexon Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Arcadia Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Asda Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • ASOS (UK retail sales)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ben Sherman
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bhs Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Boden UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (BSkyB)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Burton old
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Caterpiller Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Condé Nast Publications Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cotton Traders Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Country Casuals Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Daxon UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Debenhams Total (GTV)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Diesel
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dorothy Perkins old
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Elvi Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Empire Stores Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Evans old
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Forever 21 Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • French Connection (Retail)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gap (Other)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • GIVe
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Government Actuary's Department (GAD)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Grupo Inditex
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • H&M Hennes & Mauritz
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • High and Mighty
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • House of Fraser Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • J. Sainsbury
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Jacques Vert Group Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Jaeger Company's Shops Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Jane Norman Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • John Lewis Partnership
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • John Rocha
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Karen Millen
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • kookai UK Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • La Redoute (pre 20xx)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lands' End
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Levi Strauss (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lidl (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Long Tall Sally Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lonsdale
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Marks & Spencer
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Matalan Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Miss Selfridge
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • mmO2 plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Monsoon Accessorize Ltd - UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Moss Bros Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • N Brown Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nautica Enterprises Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Netto Foodstores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • New Look Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Next Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nigella Lawson
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nike
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Nordstrom
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oasis Fashions Ltd - UK
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Office Holdings Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Orange plc (UK)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Peacocks
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Pretty Polly Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Primark Stores Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Reebok International Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • River Island Clothing Co Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Scala Collections Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Schuh Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Selfridges Retail Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Spanx Inc [Spanx by Sara Blakeley]
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ted Baker
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tesco Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • The TJX Companies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Tommy Hilfiger Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Topman old
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Topshop old
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Triumph International Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Virgin Media Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Virgin Mobile
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Waitrose
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wallis old
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Warehouse Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Wm Morrison Supermarkets
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Yours Clothing

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fashion - Size Matters! - UK - July 2010

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