The U.S. Market for Plus-Size Apparel

Sep 1, 2001
254 Pages - Pub ID: LA376082
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This pioneering report from Packaged Facts is one of the first to cover the U.S. market for women's plus-size apparel, estimated at $31.6 billion in 2000. Larger women are growing more self-confident and financially secure, and they are demanding fashion equality with their smaller-size sisters from the runway to retail. This fast-paced market has strong growth potential within an otherwise slow-moving women's apparel arena. The report quantifies market size and growth and factors influencing market growth, offering sales projections through 2005. The analysis features extensive competitive profiles of major and niche marketers and retailers, including specialty and e-tail players, plus analysis of current marketing and new product trends and innovative retail strategies. The report also features an in-depth profile of the plus-size consumer.

  1. Executive Summary
    Scope and Methodology
    • Market Parameters
    • Report Methodology

    The Market
    • Sales of Women's Plus-Size Apparel to Reach $47 Billion by 2005
    • Table 1-1: U.S. Retail Sales of Plus-Size Apparel, 1996-2005 (dollars)
    • Intimate Apparel at $6 Billion
    • Four Retailer Types Vie for Market Lead
    • Plus-Size Apparel in Context of Larger Apparel Markets
    • Plus-Size Clothing Comprises Nearly 30% of Women's Apparel Market
    • A Booming Market, with Room to Grow
    • Celebrities Lend Credibility, Boost Sales
    • Catalogs, Internet Will Spur Market Growth

    The Marketers
    • Two Levels of Players
    • Major Marketers
    • Plus-Size Specialists
    • Fashion Giants Upping the Ante
    • Plus-Size Davids vs. Goliaths
    • Urge to Merge Reshaping Competitive Landscape

    Marketing and New Product Trends
    • New Attitudes Towards Plus-Size Women
    • But Old Prejudices Remain
    • Tapping into Customer Loyalty
    • The New Sex Appeal
    • A Growing Emphasis on Supersizes
    • Jumping Into Juniors
    • New Demand for Prints, Patterns
    • Fashion Items Are Hot Sellers
    • Basic Wardrobe Builders Popular
    • Lingerie/Intimatewear a Strong Segment
    • $15 Million in Consumer Advertising
    • A Wide Variety of Advertising Approaches
    • Sex, the City, and Mr. Big: Lane Bryant Makes a Splash
    • New Fashion Magazines Targeting Larger Women

    Distribution and Retail
    • Distribution Plays Key Role
    • Retail Overview
    • A Two-Way Bottleneck
    • Discounters at the Lead
    • New Dynamics for Specialty Stores
    • Concept Shops in National Chains and Department Stores
    • Segregation vs. Integration
    • Catalog Retailers
    • The Internet Impact

    The Consumer
    • Six Out of Ten Women Wear Size 12 or Larger
    • Figure 1-1: Share of U.S. Women by Apparel Size: Size 12 and Above vs. Below Size 12, 2000 (percent)
    • Larger Women Making Themselves Heard
    • Plus-Size Lane Bryant Ranks 21st Among Jeans Brands
  2. The Market
    Introduction
    • Scope of Report
    • Others Broaden, Narrow Plus-Size Definition
    • Reshaping Women's Apparel Sizes
    • Plus Sizes Use Several Sizing Systems
    • Table 2-1: Size Comparisons: Women's Apparel Sizing Systems
    • Height, Weight, Other Measurements
    • Petites
    • Juniors Sizing
    • Custom Made for Some, Custom Sizing for Most

    Market History
    • Six Out of Ten Women Wear Size 12 or Larger
    • Larger Women Viewed as Social Outcasts
    • Dying to Be Thin
    • From Here to Maternity: Shapeless Styles Define Historical Market
    • Social Norms Start to Shift as Women Enter Workplace
    • Celebrity Support Is Major Catalyst for Change
    • High-Profile Magazines Target Plus-Size Women
    • Still a Long Way to Go

    Plus-Size Products
    • Plus-Size Product Categories Mirror Mainstream Women's Apparel Categories
    • A Focus on Fashion, Refreshing Palettes
    • An Explosion of Lingerie Products
    • Larger Bodies Call for Specific Designs
    • Plus-Size Petites Pose Special Problems
    • Stretch, High-Tech, and Low-Tech Fabric Favorites
    • Figure 2-1: U.S. Retail Sales of Plus-Size Apparel, 1996-2000 (dollars)

    Market Size and Composition
    • U.S. Retail Sales Climb to $31.6 Billion in 2000
    • Table 2-2: U.S. Retail Sales of Plus-Size Apparel, 1996-2000 (dollars)
    • Other Market Size Estimates Vary
    • Sportswear Is Biggest Dollar Category
    • Sweaters, Casual Pants Lead Year 2000 Growth
    • Intimate Apparel at $6 Billion
    • Four Retailer Types Vie for Market Lead

    Market in Perspective
    • Plus-Size Apparel in Context of Larger Apparel Markets
    • U.S. Apparel Market Valued as High as $318 Billion
    • Household Expenditures on the Rise
    • Overall U.S. Women's Clothing Market at $96 Billion
    • Plus-Size Clothing Comprises Nearly 30% of Women's Apparel Market

    Factors to Market Growth
    • A Booming Market, with Room to Grow
    • More American Women Are Larger
    • Wealthy Boomers Growing Older, Wider
    • Fashion Splash Boosting Market Growth
    • Retailers Getting with Plus-Size Program
    • Catalogs, Internet Will Spur Incremental Growth
    • Figure 2-2: Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Plus-Size Apparel, 2000-2005 (dollars)

    Projected Market Growth
    • Sales to Reach $47 Billion by 2005
    • Table 2-3: Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Plus-Size Apparel, 2000-2005 (dollars)
  3. The Marketers
    Marketer Overview
    • Hundreds of Companies Compete
    • Two Levels of Players
    • Major Marketers
    • Plus-Size Specialists
    • Major Fashion Marketers Are Newer Entrants
    • Broadline Marketers vs. Niche Players
    • Table 3-1: The U.S. Market for Plus-Size Apparel: Selected Marketers and Brand Lines

    The Competitive Situation
    • Private Label, National Brands on Top
    • An Increasingly Competitive Field
    • Marketer, Retailer Receptivity Increasing, But Retailer Bias Still an Issue
    • Fit and Fashion as Competitive Factors
    • Fashion Giants Upping the Ante
    • Plus-Size Davids vs. Goliaths
    • New Kids on Block Taking Aim
    • Direct/Internet Marketers Take Personalized Approach
    • Internet Presents Special Challenges
    • Trend Toward Branding in Moderate Apparel
    • Advertising to Build Strong Brands
    • Private Label a Growing Factor
    • Urge to Merge Reshaping Competitive Landscape
    • McNaughton, Ann Travis, Donna Karan Acquired
    • Licensing Deals Afford Easier Entry, Quick Expansion
    • Market Stresses Take Their Toll

    Competitive Profile: Danskin, Inc.
    • Leading Marketer of Dancewear, Activewear
    • A Venerable Dance Partner
    • Financial Struggles Plague Company
    • From Bad to Worse
    • Turnaround Underway?
    • Freestyle Line Right on Target
    • Danskin.com: A "Lifestyle" Portal

    Competitive Profile: Delta Burke Design
    • Designing Woman a Market Pioneer
    • Putting Plus-Size Customers First
    • Licensing Deals Boost Growth
    • Fashionable, Sexy Styles

    Competitive Profile: Goddess Bra Company
    • After 50-Plus Years, Goddess Still Reigns
    • Fit Blends with Fashion
    • Support Meets Styling
    • New Line of Plus-Size Maternity Bras

    Competitive Profile: Jones Apparel Group. Inc.
    • Widespread Market Coverage
    • Jones New York Woman, Intimates Woman
    • Jones Acquires McNaughton Apparel Group in 2001
    • McNaughton Challenged by Rapid Expansion
    • Getting Back on Track
    • Maggie McNaughton Is Plus-Size Entry

    Competitive Profile: Kellwood Company
    • Strength Through Diversity
    • A Large Corporate Family
    • A 40-Year-Old Company
    • Acquiring Minds Want to Grow
    • 1999 Koret Merger a Major Boost
    • Corporate Giant Fields Plus-Size Extensions
    • Emme Collection Targets Plus-Size Fashion
    • Supermodel Puts Star Power Behind Plus-Size Fashion Line
    • Fern Bratten Emphasizes Novelty Fashion
    • Sag Harbor Plus Sizes Target Lifestyles

    Competitive Profile: Leslie Fay Company, Inc.
    • Back on Fashion Track
    • Venerable Company Arises from Bankruptcy's Ashes
    • Growth Through Acquisitions
    • Licensing Drives Branding Efforts
    • Leslie and Liz Team Up
    • Refocusing Retail Strategy

    Competitive Profile: Liz Claiborne, Inc.
    • An Apparel Powerhouse
    • A Broad Range of Labels
    • Dressing Women for the Workplace
    • Elisabeth Debuts in 1989
    • Elisabeth Indigo Goes Casual
    • elisabeth.com Launched in 2000

    Competitive Profile: Sara Lee
    • Everybody Likes Sara Lee
    • Many Megabrands Under Sara Lee's Roof
    • Company Reorganizes
    • Hanes: Feeling Good All Under
    • Plus-Size Athleticwear via Champion Woman
    • Just My Size Debuts in 1994, Now Among Country's Leading Brands

    Competitive Profile: Tommy Hilfiger Corporation
    • From Hip Hop Elite to Mainstream Fashion King
    • 2000 Revenues at $2 Billion
    • From High School to High Fashion
    • Tommy Hilfiger Woman Debuts

    Competitive Briefs: Selected Marketers
    • Ellen Tracy, Inc.
    • Farr West Fashions
    • Kiyonna Klothing
    • One Step Up, Inc.
    • Tamotsu
  4. Marketing and new product Trends
    Marketing Overview
    • New Attitudes Towards Plus-Size Women
    • But Old Prejudices Remain
    • Tapping into Customer Loyalty
    • Bye-Bye Baggy: A Focus on Better Fit
    • Adapting from Misses Styles
    • A Focus on Fashion
    • From Casualwear to High Fashion
    • Larger Women Join Waifs on Fashion Runways
    • Celebrities Lend Credibility, Boost Sales
    • The New Sex Appeal
    • Plus-Size Petites for Shorter Women
    • A Growing Emphasis on Supersizes
    • Jumping Into Juniors
    • New Competitors in Plus-Size Juniors
    • Plus-Size Women Looking for Something New
    • Marketers Still Face Retailer Reluctance

    New Product Trends
    • Fashion Driving Selection
    • Practical Elements Important
    • Rainbow Palettes Chasing Dowdy Away
    • New Demand for Prints, Patterns
    • Performance Fabrics Used for Greater Style, Performance, and Comfort
    • Fashion Items Are Hot Sellers
    • Faux Leathers, Animal Prints Are In
    • There Are Limits
    • Fashion Styles in Plus-Size Pants
    • Basic Wardrobe Builders Popular
    • Comfortable Clothing Are de Rigueur
    • Eveningwear, Bridal Gowns an Underserved Niche
    • A Growing Focus on Athleticwear
    • Sport Bras Present Special Challenges
    • Lingerie/Intimatewear a Strong Segment
    • Plus-Size Bras No Longer a "Sea of White"
    • Plus-Size Intimatewear Taking on Style
    • Larger Women Want to Look Sexy, Too
    • Special Aviana Bras Target Mastectomy Customers
    • Swimwear Marketers Dive Into Plus Sizes
    • Plus-Size-Specific Accessories
    • Table 4-1: The U.S. Market for Plus-Size Apparel: Selected New Product Introductions, 1999-Summer 2001

    Advertising and Promotion
    • Methodology for Estimates of Consumer Advertising Expenditures
    • A $15 Million Total, Placed Mostly in Magazines
    • Just My Size Is Leading Spender, at Over $6 Million
    • Plus-Size Retailer Lane Bryant Spends $3 Million
    • Elisabeth, Sigrid Olsen, and Dana Buchman Also Strong Contenders
    • Zana Di Also Tops Million-Dollar Mark
    • Newcomer Emme Another Big Spender
    • A Wide Variety of Approaches
    • Just My Size Stars on Wal-Mart's In-Store TV
    • Just My Size Says "I AM"
    • Lane Bryant Drives Down Information Highway—and Runway
    • Sex, the City, and Mr. Big: Lane Bryant Makes a Splash
    • Emme Takes Hands-on Approach to Promotions
    • Delta Burke Also Makes Personal Appeal
    • Elisabeth Relies on Classic Fashion Appeal
    • Maggie McNaughton Just Looks Expensive
    • Plus-Size Women On Par with C. J. Banks
    • Aviana Bras Best the Competition
    • August Max Woman Counts on Coupons
    • Seduce.Com Appeals to Full-Figured Women
    • New Fashion Magazines Targeting Larger Women
    • Trade Ads Put New Apparel Lines on Parade
    • Approaches to Trade Promotions
    • Department Store Cooperative Ads
    • Trade Groups and Shows Support the Industry
  5. Distribution and Retail
    Distribution Dynamics
    • Distribution Plays Key Role
    • Direct Distribution
    • Marketer and Retailer Distribution Centers
    • Third-Party Warehouses
    • Wholesalers and Sales Agents
    • Mass vs. Authorized Distribution

    Retail Channels
    • Overview
    • Four Retailer Types Vie for Market Leadership
    • Discounters at the Lead
    • 60% Growth Rate at Ames
    • New Dynamics for Specialty Stores
    • From Talbots to Torrid
    • Concept Shops in National Chains and Department Stores
    • Salon Z Steps In
    • Mail Order Merges with Internet Shopping
    • The Consolidation Factor: The Case of Charming Shoppes

    Retail Dynamics
    • Overview
    • A Two-Way Bottleneck
    • Larger Sales from Loyal Customers
    • Fighting the Space Crunch
    • Segregation vs. Integration
    • Cato Stores Split the Difference
    • Shoppers, Selection, and Accessories
    • Equity in Pricing an Issue
    • Friendly Help, Personal Touch Appreciated
    • Defining Specific Demographics
    • Targeting the Juniors Market
    • The Pay Off from Promotion
    • A Role for Private Label

    Catalog Retailing
    • Overview
    • Plus-Size Market Difficult to Penetrate
    • Speigel's For You Fiasco
    • Other General Apparel Catalogs Getting Into Game
    • Brick-and-Mortar Firms Also a Presence
    • Turnstylz Turns to Teens
    • Online Sales and Service Boost Catalog Companies

    Internet Retailing
    • Overview
    • Women on the Web
    • Three Main Types of E-tailer
    • Internet-Only E-tailers Sprout Up
    • Click-and-Mortar Merchandisers
    • New Addition: Marketer Liz Claiborne
    • Convenience, Selection Tops with Internet Shoppers
    • E-tailers Offer Upbeat, Personal Feel
    • Lane Bryant Casts Its Web with Fashion Shows
    • alight.com Opens Virtual Dressing Room

    Retailer Profile: Charming Shoppes, Inc.
    • The Specialty Retail Leader
    • The Lane Bryant Acquisition
    • The alight.com Acquisition
    • Fashion Bug, Fashion Bug Plus
    • Catherine's Plus Sizes
    • Answer and Added Dimensions

    Retailer Profile: The Talbots, Inc.
    • Timeless Talbots
    • Midas Touch
    • Service Is a Trademark
    • Talbots Direct
    • Talbots Woman
  6. The Consumer
    Overview of Overweight/Obesity Trends in America
    • Americans Getting Larger
    • CDC Findings Also Show Americans Getting Larger
    • Table 6-1: Percentage of Overweight/Obese Adult Americans, 1988-1994 vs. 1999 (percent)
    • Non-White Women More Prone to Being Overweight
    • Six Out of Ten Women Wear Size 12 or Larger
    • Figure 6-1: Share of U.S. Women by Apparel Size: Size 12 and Above vs. Below Size 12, 2000 (percent)

    Plus-Size Consumer Attitudes and Trends
    • Larger Women Making Themselves Heard
    • Self-Esteem a Major Issue
    • Two Primary Attitudes: "Transient" and "Permanent"
    • The Age Factor
    • Plus-Size Spending up Across All Age Groups
    • Plus-Size Consumers Married, Better Off
    • No Cookie-Cutter Shape for Plus-Size Women
    • Discriminating Yet Daring
    • Still Dissatisfied with Available Offerings

    Plus-Size Consumer Product Focus: Jeans, Panties, and Hosiery
    • Note on Simmons Market Research Bureau Data
    • Simmons Data on Women's Plus-Size Apparel
    • Plus-Size Lane Bryant Ranks 21st Among Jeans Brands
    • Jeans Consumer Demographics: Overall vs. Lane Bryant
    • Just My Size Is Number-Five Panties Brand
    • Panty Consumer Demographics: Overall vs. Just My Size
    • Just My Size Is Fourth-Ranked Hosiery Brand
    • Hosiery Consumer Demographics: Overall vs. Just My Size
    • Table 6-2: Consumer Draw for Selected Brands of Women's Jeans 2000 (percent and number): 28 Brands, Other
    • Table 6-3: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Jeans vs. Lane Bryant Plus-Size Jeans, 2000 (U.S. Adult Females)
    • Table 6-4: Consumer Draw for Selected Brands of Women's Panties 2000 (percent and number): 22 Brands, Other
    • Table 6-5: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Panties vs. Just My Size Plus-Size Panties, 2000 (U.S. Adult Females)
    • Table 6-6: Consumer Draw for Selected Brands of Women's Hosiery/Pantyhose/Stockings, 2000 (percent and number): 23 Brands, Other
    • Table 6-7: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Hosiery/Pantyhose/Stockings vs. Just My Size Hosiery/Pantyhose/Stockings, 2000 (U.S. Adult Females)

    Appendix I: examples of consumer and trade advertising and promotions
    Appendix II: addresses of selected marketers

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