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Shopping for Plus Size Teens' and Women's Clothing - US - November 2012

“The plus size teens’ and women’s clothing market will continue to be a significant part of the overall clothing market, due to the sheer number of obese and overweight women and teenage girls. However, there are fewer choices for clothing in this category compared to those in standard sizes, which often discourages women and teens from shopping for clothing in this category more often. Furthermore, health and fitness initiatives aimed at combating obesity may ultimately result in decreased demand for plus size clothing as women and teens begin to make lifestyle changes and eventually move out of the category.”

– Ali Lipson, Senior Retail & Apparel Analyst

Some questions answered in this report include:

  • How is the obesity epidemic impacting the market for plus size clothing?
  • Will the growing Hispanic population drive growth of plus size clothing?
  • Will health and fitness initiatives impact the plus size clothing market?
  • How can retailers improve the shopping experience for plus size teens and women?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

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

                    • Market factors
                      • Obesity epidemic has a major impact on plus size market
                        • Figure 1: Prevalence of obesity among U.S. women aged 20+, by race/Hispanic origin, for selected years 2001-02 through 2007-08
                        • Figure 2: Prevalence of obesity among U.S. adolescent girls aged 12-19, by race/Hispanic origin, selected years 2001-02 through 2007-08
                      • Growing Hispanic population may create demand for plus size clothing
                        • Figure 3: Expected population growth of Hispanic females, by age, 2012-17
                      • The aging population and obesity
                        • Health and fitness initiatives aimed at combatting obesity
                          • Retail channels
                            • The consumer
                              • Most buy plus size clothing at Walmart
                                • Figure 4: Retailers shopped for plus size clothing, women aged 18+, July 2012
                              • Plus size teens choose similar retailers as their peers
                                • Figure 5: Retailers shopped by teen girls for clothing, all vs. by junior size 13/14 or larger, June 2012
                              • Most women prefer to shop in stores with plus size and non-plus size clothing
                                • Figure 6: Retailer preferences among women size 14 or larger, July 2012
                              • Most plus size women prefer same stores, look for sales/deals
                                • Figure 7: Select attitudes/opinions about shopping, by overweight women, January 2011-March 2012
                              • Plus size and non-plus size women seek similar attributes in clothing
                                • Figure 8: Importance of key clothing attributes when shopping for clothing, all women vs. women size 14 or larger, July 2012
                              • Plus size teens have difficulty finding stylish clothes, look for new places to shop
                                • Figure 9: Attitudes toward clothes shopping, by teen girls, all vs. junior size 13/14 or larger, June 2012
                              • What we think
                              • Issues in the Market

                                  • How is the obesity epidemic impacting the market for plus size clothing?
                                    • Will the growing Hispanic population drive growth of plus size clothing?
                                      • Will health and fitness initiatives impact the plus size clothing market?
                                        • How can retailers improve the shopping experience for plus size teens and women?
                                        • Insights and Opportunities

                                          • Allow shoppers to create custom designs
                                            • Offer more in-store events to encourage plus size shopping
                                            • Trend Application

                                                • Inspire trend: Many Mes
                                                  • Inspire trend: Make it Mine
                                                    • 2015 trend: Old Gold
                                                      • Old Gold
                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Obesity epidemic has major impact on plus size clothing market
                                                            • Figure 10: Prevalence of being overweight, obese, or extremely obese, among adults aged 20 or older, 1988-2008
                                                            • Figure 11: Prevalence of obesity among U.S. women aged 20 and older, by race/Hispanic origin, for selected years 1988-94 through 2007-08
                                                            • Figure 12: Prevalence of obesity among U.S. adolescents aged 12-19, selected years 1971-74 through 2007-08
                                                            • Figure 13: Prevalence of obesity among U.S. adolescent girls aged 12-19, by race/Hispanic origin, selected years 1988-94 through 2007-08
                                                          • Growing Hispanic population may create demand for plus size clothing
                                                            • Figure 14: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2007-17
                                                            • Figure 15: Hispanic females, by age, 2007-17
                                                          • Aging population and obesity
                                                            • Figure 16: Female population, by age, 2007-17
                                                            • Figure 17: Rate of adult obesity, by age, 2010
                                                          • Health and fitness initiatives aimed at reducing obesity
                                                          • Retailer Overview

                                                              • Specialty apparel retailers
                                                                • Lane Bryant
                                                                  • Avenue
                                                                    • Eloquii
                                                                      • Torrid
                                                                        • Forever 21
                                                                          • H&M
                                                                            • Market threats and opportunities for specialty apparel stores
                                                                              • Department stores
                                                                                • JCPenney
                                                                                  • Kohl’s
                                                                                    • Sears
                                                                                      • Macy’s
                                                                                        • Nordstrom
                                                                                          • Market threats and opportunities for department stores
                                                                                            • Mass merchandisers
                                                                                              • Walmart
                                                                                                • Target
                                                                                                  • Market threats and opportunities for mass merchandisers
                                                                                                    • Online only retailers
                                                                                                      • Amazon.com
                                                                                                        • Redcats USA
                                                                                                          • Market threats and opportunities for online-only retailers
                                                                                                          • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                            • Popular brands go after plus size market
                                                                                                              • CurvyGirls Bridal caters to full-figured brides
                                                                                                                • My Curvy Closet offers private sales for plus size clothing
                                                                                                                • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                    • Print advertising
                                                                                                                      • Lane Bryant
                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Lane Bryant print ad as seen in InStyle Magazine, October 2012
                                                                                                                      • Torrid
                                                                                                                        • Television advertising
                                                                                                                          • Lane Bryant
                                                                                                                            • Figure 19: Lane Bryant TV ad, “Get serious,” December 2011
                                                                                                                          • OneStopPlus
                                                                                                                            • Figure 20: OneStopPlus TV ad, “Just a number,” April 2012
                                                                                                                          • Other marketing activity
                                                                                                                            • Social media
                                                                                                                            • Women’s Clothing Purchases

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Women buy clothing for themselves more often than for others
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Sizes of women’s clothing bought for self and others, July 2012
                                                                                                                                • Older women buying plus size clothing for themselves and others more than younger women
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Sizes of women’s clothing bought for self and others, by age, July 2012
                                                                                                                                • Those living in lowest-income households likely to buy plus size clothing for themselves
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Sizes of women’s clothing bought for self and others, by household income, July 2012
                                                                                                                              • Reasons for Not Buying Plus Size Clothing

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • More than 20% no longer wear plus size clothing
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Reasons for not buying women's clothing size 14 or larger, July 2012
                                                                                                                                  • Older women more likely than younger women to have moved out of plus size category
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Reasons for not buying women's clothing size 14 or larger, July 2012
                                                                                                                                • Retailers Shopped for Plus Size Clothing

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Half buy plus size clothing at Walmart
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Retailers shopped for plus size clothing, July 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Youngest plus size shoppers prefer Walmart, Target, Forever 21
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Retailers shopped for plus size clothing, by age, July 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Those in lower-income households shop at Walmart; higher household income earners shop at department, specialty stores
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Retailers shopped for plus size clothing, by household income, July 2012
                                                                                                                                  • Amount Spent on Clothing

                                                                                                                                    • Key point
                                                                                                                                      • Women spent more than $280 on average on clothing for themselves; plus size women not far behind
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Amount spent on clothing for self in last 12 months, July 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Amount spent on clothing for self in last 12 months by women buying size 14 or larger, July 2012
                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes Toward the Selection of Clothes Available at Clothing Retailers

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Most women satisfied with selection of clothing when shopping
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Attitudes toward the selection of clothes available at clothing retailers, July 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Women wearing larger sizes are less satisfied with clothing options
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Attitudes toward the selection of clothes available at clothing retailers, by size purchased, July 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Clothing Items Purchased

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Overweight women likely to purchase shirts, jeans, handbags
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Apparel and accessory items bought by overweight women in past 12 months, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                        • Incidence of Normally Buying or Recently Started Buying Plus Size Clothing

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Nearly all plus size shoppers normally buy plus size clothing for themselves
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Incidence of normally buying or recently started buying plus size clothing, July 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Younger women likely to be new entrants to plus size category
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Incidence of normally buying or recently started buying plus size clothing, by age, July 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Little differences in reasons for buying across household income groups
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Incidence of normally buying or recently started buying plus size clothing, by household income, July 2012
                                                                                                                                          • Preference for Specialist Plus Size Stores vs. Mainstream Stores with Plus Size Ranges

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Most women prefer to shop in stores with plus size and non-plus size clothing
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Preference for specialist plus size stores vs. mainstream stores with plus size ranges, among plus size shoppers, July 2012
                                                                                                                                              • Younger women prefer stores with plus size and non-plus size selections
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Preference for specialist plus size stores vs. mainstream stores with plus size ranges, among plus size shoppers, by age, July 2012
                                                                                                                                              • Women in all household income groups like to shop in mixed retailers
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Preference for specialist plus size stores vs. mainstream stores with plus size ranges, among plus size shoppers, by household income, July 2012
                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes Toward Shopping for Clothing

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Most women shop at the same few retailers when shopping for clothes
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Attitudes toward shopping for clothing, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Plus size women buy other items of clothing, interested in fitness apparel
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Attitudes toward shopping for clothing by women size 14 or larger, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Most plus size women prefer same stores, look for sales/deals
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Overweight women’s attitudes/opinions about shopping, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                                • When shopping for clothes, most women find something to buy
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Incidence of normally finding something or coming home empty-handed when shopping for clothes, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Those who come home empty-handed more likely to be plus size
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 44: Incidence of normally finding something or coming home empty-handed when shopping for clothes among women who shop for clothes size 14 or larger, July 2012
                                                                                                                                              • Importance of Various Clothing and Retailer Attributes When Shopping For Clothing

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Plus size and non-plus size women seek similar attributes in clothing
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Importance of various clothing and retailer attributes when shopping for clothing, all women vs. buy size 14 or larger, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Comfort, durability most important to overweight women
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Importance of clothing and retailer attributes when shopping for clothing, by overweight women, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                                • Attributes of Product Selection at Retailers

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Retailers offer good selection, quality but can improve on style
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Perception of product selection at select retailers, by women who buy size 14 or larger July 2012
                                                                                                                                                  • Plus Size Teens’ Attitudes and Shopping

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Size of clothing worn
                                                                                                                                                        • One quarter of teenage girls purchase clothing size 13/14 or larger
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 48: Size of clothing worn by girls aged 12-17, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Girls aged 15-17 more likely to wear plus sizes
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 49: Size of clothing worn by girls aged 12-17, by age, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                        • Type of clothing acquired
                                                                                                                                                          • T-shirts, jeans purchased most among teenage girls
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Type of clothing acquired by girls aged 12-17 in last 12 months, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • One quarter of all teens wear plus sizes, buy same items as non-plus size teens
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Junior size 13/14 or larger acquired by girls aged 12-17, by type of clothing acquired in last 12 months, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                          • Retailers shopped for clothing
                                                                                                                                                            • Plus size teens choose similar retailers as their peers
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Retailers shopped for clothing by girls aged 12-17, by acquired junior size 13/14 or larger, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                            • Teens’ attitudes toward clothes shopping
                                                                                                                                                              • Most plus size teens normally buy plus size clothing
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Incidence of normally buying or recently started buying junior size 13/14 or larger by girls aged 12-17, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Plus size teens have difficulty finding stylish clothes, look for new places to shop
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Attitudes toward clothes shopping by girls aged 12-17, all vs. acquired junior size 13/14 or larger, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                              • Influences on clothing purchases
                                                                                                                                                                • Friends, moms influence girls’ clothing purchases
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Influences on clothing purchases by girls aged 12-17, all vs. acquired junior size 13/14 or larger, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                • Amount spent on clothing
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Change in spending on clothing for girls aged 12-17, all vs. acquired junior size 13/14 or larger, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes toward clothing retailers
                                                                                                                                                                  • Plus size shoppers less satisfied with clothing selections
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Attitudes toward the selection of clothes available at clothing retailers by girls aged 12-17, all vs. acquired junior size 13/14 or larger, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                  • Teens’ attitudes toward clothing
                                                                                                                                                                    • Teens across all sizes agree that the clothing they wear is stylish
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 58: Attitudes toward clothing by girls aged 12-17, all vs. acquired junior size 13/14 or larger
                                                                                                                                                                  • Impact of Race/Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Black women most likely to buy plus size clothing compared to other groups
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Sizes of women’s clothing bought for self and others, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Similar retail preferences among women in all groups
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Retailers shopped for plus size clothing, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Across all groups, plus size women normally buy plus size clothing
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Incidence of normally buying or recently started buying, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Women of all races/ethnicities prefer to shop at stores with plus size and non-plus size departments
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Preference for specialist plus size stores vs. mainstream stores with plus size ranges among plus size shoppers, by race/Hispanic origin, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Hispanics more likely than other women to buy items in many categories
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Apparel and accessory items bought by overweight women in past 12 months, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Overweight Hispanic women are more interested in fashion, others seek comfortable classic styles
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Importance of clothing and retailer attributes when shopping for clothing, by overweight women, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Non-Hispanic women more price sensitive than Hispanic women
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Overweight women’s attitudes/opinions about shopping, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                    • Key Driver Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 66: Key driver analysis of plus size clothing purchases, June 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                      • Correspondence Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                        • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                          • Kohl’s and Sears offer good quality; Target and Walmart are practical
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Correspondence analysis for retailers based on perception of plus size clothing range, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Attributes of product selection at retailers, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                          • Custom Groups

                                                                                                                                                                            • Obese/extremely obese women most likely to buy plus size clothing
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Sizes of women’s clothing bought for self and others, by BMI, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Different retailer choices among overweight and obese women
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Retailers shopped for plus size clothing, by BMI, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Obese/extremely obese women dissatisfied with clothing selection at retailers
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Attitudes toward the selection of clothes available at clothing retailers, by BMI, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Most women loyal to same stores when shopping for clothing
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Attitudes toward shopping for clothing, by BMI, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix—Other Useful Consumer

                                                                                                                                                                            • Women’s clothing purchases—for self and others
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Sizes of women’s clothing bought for self and others, by marital/relationship status, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Sizes of women’s clothing bought for self and others, by household size, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: Sizes of women’s clothing bought for self and others, by employment, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Sizes of women’s clothing bought for self and others, by region, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 77: Sizes of women’s clothing bought for self and others, by generation, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Reasons for not buying plus size clothing
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 78: Reasons for not buying women's clothing size 14 or larger, by household income, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Retailers shopped for plus size clothing
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 79: Retailers shopped for plus size clothing, by marital status, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 80: Retailers shopped for plus size clothing, by household size, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 81: Retailers shopped for plus size clothing, by employment, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 82: Retailers shopped for plus size clothing, by region, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: Retailers shopped for plus size clothing, by generation, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Preference for specialist plus size stores vs. mainstream stores with plus size ranges
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 84: Preference for specialist plus size stores vs. mainstream stores with plus size ranges, among plus size shoppers, by marital status, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 85: Preference for specialist plus size stores vs. mainstream stores with plus size ranges, among plus size shoppers, by household size, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Clothing items purchased
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 86: Apparel and accessory items bought by overweight women in past 12 months, by age, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 87: Apparel and accessory items bought by overweight women in past 12 months, by household income, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Incidence of normally buying or recently started buying plus size clothing
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 88: Incidence of normally buying or recently started buying plus size clothing, by marital status, July 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes toward shopping for clothing
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 89: Overweight women’s attitudes/opinions about shopping, by age, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 90: Overweight women’s attitudes/opinions about shopping, by household income, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Importance of attributes when shopping for clothing
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 91: Overweight women’s attitudes/opinions about apparel, by age, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 92: Overweight women’s attitudes/opinions about apparel, by household income, January 2011-March 2012
                                                                                                                                                                          • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                            • Amazon North America
                                                                                                                                                                            • Bloomingdale's
                                                                                                                                                                            • Calvin Klein, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Charming Shoppes Inc
                                                                                                                                                                            • Donna Karan International Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Forever 21 Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • H&M Hennes & Mauritz
                                                                                                                                                                            • J. Choo Limited
                                                                                                                                                                            • JCPenney (department stores and catalog)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Kmart Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                            • Kohl's Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                            • Lane Bryant
                                                                                                                                                                            • Liz Claiborne Inc
                                                                                                                                                                            • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Mossimo, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Mudd Jeans
                                                                                                                                                                            • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                                                            • Nordstrom
                                                                                                                                                                            • Old Navy
                                                                                                                                                                            • Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                            • Stella McCartney
                                                                                                                                                                            • Torrid
                                                                                                                                                                            • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                            • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                            • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                            Shopping for Plus Size Teens' and Women's Clothing - US - November 2012

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