The Shrinking Plus-Size Apparel Market

What: To no one’s surprise, apparel sales have been going down over the past year – but the plus-size market has been hit especially hard. This is a bit counter-intuitive, as the number of plus-size women in America (and the world) is actually increasing. So, how could this be? Well, there are a few possibilities – full sized fashionistas aren’t always as open to buying clothes that’s marketed as plus-size. Some prefer (or are forced) to shop online – in privacy – for such items.

What They Say:

According to the NPD Group, a market research company, the overall women’s apparel business is down about 5 percent and plus-size is down almost 10 percent from the 12 months ending in May 2009 compared to the same time the year before.

What We Say: We’re not sure what the latest trends are, but if department stores ignore the plus-size customer, they’re ignoring a significant chunk of the population. We don’t predict the plus-size market will disappear, but that it might be introduced to shoppers in a different way in the near future (ie Old Navy’s move to put their plus size section online-only)

If you’re a plus-size fashionista, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this…

Photo by CRASH:candy