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Plus Size Teens and Women - US - November 2009

The US plus size market for teen girls and women is beset by a number of challenges in 2009. Foremost of these is the ongoing recession, which has resulted in less discretionary income and tightening household budgets. However, there are also a number of other problematic issues brought up by plus size women themselves, including fit, fashion, and availability. This report closely examines these factors, and provides in-depth analysis of the following:

  • How the US obesity rate and increasing female population drive sales
  • The ways in which a number of plus size brands and retailers meet consumer demand for better-fitting, more fashion-forward apparel
  • The migration of many plus size brands, retailers, and collections to the Web as the economy forces companies to cut costs, and the resulting competition for Internet-savvy customers
  • How mass merchandisers garner a majority of plus size shoppers, due to increasing plus size selection and low price points
  • The leading plus size companies and their unique brand strategies
  • The nature of plus size advertising, which relies mostly on Web marketing

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising videos
                • Abbreviations and terms
                • Executive Summary

                  • The market declines as the recession takes a toll
                    • Competitive context
                      • Companies vie for web-savvy customers
                        • Focus on fashion heats up competition
                          • Universal sizing represents key opportunity to increase sales
                            • Mass stores appear to be the most used
                              • Market directly driven by obesity rates, female population growth
                                • Top companies and their brand strategies
                                  • Advertising and promotion—a few celebrities, but mostly online efforts
                                    • Plus size shoppers report fewer purchases
                                    • Insights and Opportunities

                                      • The search for the right fit
                                        • Using satisfied customers as mentors/marketers to the unsatisfied
                                        • Inspire Trends

                                            • Redefining Need and Want
                                              • Need-based vs. desire-based retailing
                                                • Make them want it by making them feel good
                                                  • More women will want quality over quantity
                                                    • Stress Society
                                                      • What's it about?
                                                        • What we've seen
                                                          • Specifics
                                                            • Implications
                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Economic crisis causes sales to decline
                                                                  • Emphasis on fashion may help decelerate losses
                                                                    • Media focus on full-figured women highlights plus size
                                                                      • Sales of plus size clothing in the U.S.
                                                                        • Figure 1: U.S. sales and forecast of plus size clothing, at current prices, 2004-14
                                                                        • Figure 2: U.S. sales and forecast of plus size clothing, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2004-14
                                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                                      • The battle for internet-savvy customers
                                                                        • Lane Bryant tries to keep pace with younger-skewing brands
                                                                          • The ongoing recession directly impacts sales
                                                                          • Retail Channels

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Mass merchants
                                                                                • Department stores
                                                                                  • Specialty retailers
                                                                                    • Online retailers
                                                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                                                      • Rate of overweight/obese in the U.S. drives sales…
                                                                                          • Figure 3: Percentage of Americans aged 20 or older who are overweight, obese, or extremely obese, 1996-2006
                                                                                        • …yet obesity also signals lower income, which likely hinders spending
                                                                                          • Adult female population grows between 2004 and 2014; female teen population flatlines
                                                                                              • Figure 4: Plus size clothing purchased in the past 12 months, by age, 2005-09
                                                                                              • Figure 5: Female population, by age, 2004-14
                                                                                          • Leading Companies

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Overview
                                                                                                • Redcats
                                                                                                  • Charming Shoppes, Inc.
                                                                                                    • Hanesbrands, Inc.
                                                                                                      • Hot Topic, Inc.
                                                                                                        • Urban Brands
                                                                                                        • Brand Qualities

                                                                                                          • Torrid and Faith 21 appeal to fashion-conscious teens and women, but Faith 21 wins the price war
                                                                                                            • Redcats caters to various age and income groups with a range of diverse brands
                                                                                                            • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                              • Ashley Stewart collaborates with Jill Scott for the Butterfly Collection
                                                                                                                • Lane Bryant implements instant messaging promotions
                                                                                                                • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                  • Overview
                                                                                                                    • Web marketing
                                                                                                                      • Charming Shoppes
                                                                                                                        • Redcats
                                                                                                                          • Hot Topic
                                                                                                                            • Hanesbrands
                                                                                                                              • Urban Brands
                                                                                                                                • Lane Bryant TV ads
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 6: Lane Bryant, 2008
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 7: Lane Bryant, 2009
                                                                                                                              • Purchasers of Plus Size Clothing

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Purchases are down, but middle-aged and older women buy more than younger women
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 8: Plus size clothing purchased in the past 12 months, by age, 2005-09
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 9: Plus size clothing purchased in the past 12 months, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                • Retail Landscape

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Mass merchandisers are used most for plus size purchases
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 10: Sources of plus size clothing purchased in the past 12 months, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Women buy via the web less than in-store, but internet retailing has its pluses
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 11: Sources of plus size clothing purchased online in the past 12 months, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Changing Where You Shop

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Most switch due to affordability, age-appropriateness
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 12: Changing where you shop for plus size clothing, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes Towards Plus Size Shopping

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Fit remains the biggest problem
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 13: Attitudes towards plus size clothing—agree, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                          • Respondents are split over whether selection has improved
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 14: Perceptions of change in plus size apparel, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Ways to Improve

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Most say plus size can improve greatly
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 15: Typical plus size shopping experience, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                            • The path to improvement
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Thoughts on improving shopping for plus size clothing, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Underwear selection appears to lack sex appeal, but some find them easier to buy than outerwear
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 17: Attitudes toward plus size underwear—agree, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Teens

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Teens, like adults, mostly buy at mass and department stores
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Plus size clothing purchased in the past 12 months—teens, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Teens shop online less than in-store
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Plus size clothing purchased online in the past 12 months—teens, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Teens switch stores less than adults do
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Changing where you shop for plus size clothing—teens, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Teens deal with same fit dilemma that adults do
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Attitudes towards plus size clothing—teens—agree, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Teens perceive more selection and style improvements than adults…
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Perceptions of plus size clothing selection—teens, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                • …yet stores still have a long way to go
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Attitudes towards shopping for plus size clothing—teens, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Plus size teens voice improvements that are similar to those of adults
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 24: Thoughts on improving shopping for plus size clothing—teens, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Teens demand more selection of underwear than adults, but also find it easier than adults to find underwear than clothing
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 25: Attitudes toward plus size underwear—teens—agree, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Black women reduce their purchases
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Plus size clothing purchased in the past 12 months, by race and Hispanic origin, 2008 and 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Retail landscape among ethnicities
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Sources of plus size clothing purchased in the past 12 months, by race and Hispanic origin, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • All ethnicities are less likely to shop online
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Sources of plus size clothing purchased online in the past 12 months, by race and Hispanic origin, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Blacks, Hispanics most likely to switch retailers based on price, age-appropriate styles
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Changing where you shop for plus size clothing, by race and Hispanic origin, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Black women are the least likely to complain about fit, most excited about new selections
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Attitudes towards plus size clothing—agree, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Black women appear most satisfied with their plus size shopping experiences
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Attitudes towards plus size clothing shopping—agree, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Ethnic opinions about ways to improve
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Thoughts on improving shopping for plus size clothing, by race/Hispanic origin, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                    • Full-handed Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                      • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                        • Recommendations
                                                                                                                                                          • Dissatisfied Fashion-seekers
                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                              • Recommendations
                                                                                                                                                                • Dissatisfied and Unengaged
                                                                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                    • Recommendations
                                                                                                                                                                      • Characteristic tables
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Plus size clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Attitudes towards plus size clothing—agree, by plus size clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Perceptions of change in plus size apparel, by plus size clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Typical plus size shopping experience, by plus size clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Thoughts on improving shopping for plus size clothing, by plus size clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Changing where you shop for plus size clothing, by plus size clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Attitudes toward plus size underwear—agree, by plus size clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic tables
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Plus size clusters, by age, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Plus size clusters, by income, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Plus size clusters, by race, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Plus size clusters, by Hispanic origin, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Plus size clusters, by marital status, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                      • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Moms are excited about new styles, but availability lags
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Attitudes towards plus size clothing—agree, by presence of children, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Moms say style and selection has improved…
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Perceptions of change in plus size apparel, by presence of children, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • …but they still want fashion and racy styles
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Thoughts on improving shopping for plus size clothing, by presence of children, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Moms want to be sexy and supported
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Attitudes toward plus size underwear—agree, by presence of children, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                            • Purchasers of plus size clothing
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Plus size clothing purchased in the past 12 months, by income, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Retail landscape
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Sources of plus size clothing purchased in the past 12 months, by income, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes towards plus size shopping
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Perceptions of change in plus size apparel, by income, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                            • Ways to improve
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Typical plus size shopping experience, by income, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Thoughts on improving shopping for plus size clothing, by income, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Attitudes toward plus size underwear—agree, by income, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                            • ABC, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
                                                                                                                                                                            • American Apparel Producers Network
                                                                                                                                                                            • Ann Taylor Loft
                                                                                                                                                                            • Apparel Search Company
                                                                                                                                                                            • Banana Republic
                                                                                                                                                                            • Bloomingdale's
                                                                                                                                                                            • Catherines
                                                                                                                                                                            • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
                                                                                                                                                                            • Charming Shoppes Inc
                                                                                                                                                                            • Donna Karan International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Forever 21 Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Fox Entertainment Group Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Gap (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Giorgio Armani S.p.A.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Grandstyle.com
                                                                                                                                                                            • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                            • H&M Hennes & Mauritz
                                                                                                                                                                            • Hanesbrands Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Igigi.com
                                                                                                                                                                            • International Council of Shopping Centres
                                                                                                                                                                            • JCPenney (department stores and catalog)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Kohl's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                            • L.L. Bean Inc
                                                                                                                                                                            • La Redoute
                                                                                                                                                                            • Lane Bryant stores
                                                                                                                                                                            • Liz Claiborne Inc
                                                                                                                                                                            • Lord & Taylor
                                                                                                                                                                            • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                                                                            • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                                                            • National Sleep Foundation (NSF)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Old Navy
                                                                                                                                                                            • Piper Jaffray Companies
                                                                                                                                                                            • Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                            • Procter & Gamble USA
                                                                                                                                                                            • Reuters Group PLC
                                                                                                                                                                            • Sara Lee Branded Apparel
                                                                                                                                                                            • Sears Holdings Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                            • Simon & Schuster, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Spanx Inc [Spanx by Sara Blakeley]
                                                                                                                                                                            • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                            • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                            • The Dress Barn, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                            • Tommy Hilfiger Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                            • Torrid
                                                                                                                                                                            • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                            • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                                                            • Ulla Popken
                                                                                                                                                                            • United Retail Group, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                            • Urban Brands
                                                                                                                                                                            • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Women's Wear Daily (WWD)

                                                                                                                                                                            Plus Size Teens and Women - US - November 2009

                                                                                                                                                                            £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)