Big business: retailers are out to woo plus-size folks

Bindu D Menon Mumbai | Updated on November 25, 2017 Published on July 29, 2014

Promising market: For retailers of plussize clothing, heavier customers, whoearlier resorted to neighbourhood tailors, are adding to the demand for ready-to-wear apparel.

Brick-and-mortar or online, they’re adding more brands, designs, lines

A waistline above 36 inches may be bad for health but for retailers selling plus-size apparel, it holds a huge business opportunity.

Several retailers, such as the Future Group-promoted aLL, Revolution, Trent’s label Gia and Pluss are showing significant traction in this ready-to-wear category.

Even online companies have begun catering to the need as demand for sizes ranging from 2XL to 8XL picks up.

It’s not hard to see why. According to a study by medical journal The Lancet, India is just a few notches below the US and China in the obesity pecking order.

Growing number

Data from the study suggest that as many as 46 million people are overweight in India. For retailers of plus-size clothing, heavier customers, who earlier resorted to neighbourhood tailors, are now adding to the demand for ready-to-wear apparel.

According to a Technopak report, the womenswear segment is expected to reach $22.3 billion by 2017. The plus-size clothing segment, which already contributes $1.8 billion, is expected to double during this period. In the past, several international brands such as Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren have been associated with full-figure fashion with dedicated lines.

“There is a huge demand for plus sizes. Ours is a western apparel brand catering to sizes from 0 to 20. We put a lot of thrust on design, fabric and detailing to ensure a proper body sizing,” says Jahid Osam, MD, Avirate India. Avirate is a women’s high-street brand from Sri Lanka. According to apparel industry data, the average size of the Indian woman has moved up from eight to 14 in four decades.

Huge opportunity

Online retailer Myntra recently ventured into plus-size clothing with a number of brands, offering sizes ranging from 2XL to 5XL.

“The plus-size segment is a latent market that offers huge opportunity,” said Ganesh Subramanian, the company’s CEO.

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Published on July 29, 2014
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