Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gain Weighty Profits with Larger Sizes

Car companies are positioning pedals farther apart for bigger and wider feet. Toilet seats are getting larger, and a few airlines, like United and JetBlue, allow upgrades for augmented elbow and leg room. This past week, a New York Post article reported how the “Full Figured Fashion Week” in NYC has “tripled in size” from only two years ago.
     American consumers themselves may not have tripled in size, but they unquestionably are getting bigger. This creates profitability opportunities for you. About 65% of American women would be classified as overweight by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards, yet women’s plus-size clothing has traditionally constituted less than 20% of the women’s apparel market.
     It’s not only American manufacturers and retailers that have taken note. Last year, Debenhams—the department store chain with 153 stores located across the UK and Ireland—began showcasing fashions using UK size 16 mannequins. Nearly all clothing shops in Britain were using size 8 or 10 mannequins, even though the majority of women in the UK now wear either size 14 or 16. Debenhams’ changes show what the store’s offerings look like on typical customers.
     Is this a good idea? Some retailing consultants say no. Their argument goes like this: People buy things to help them become what they aspire to be. Most plus-size women aspire to be thinner, so when your target market is plus-size women, show models that are thinner than the members of your target market.
     There are consumer psychology findings supporting the “No, you should not.” Researchers at Tilburg University and Arizona State University found that when female study participants looked at moderately heavy models, the study participants began having unpleasant thoughts about their own weight. On the other hand, when the researchers showed images of moderately thin women, the viewers’ self-esteem improved. Better self-esteem generated by an ad makes people more likely to absorb and act on the advertising message.
     But maybe that conclusion is misguided. The study participants represented a cross-section of body builds. Such conclusions might be different if we include just plus-size consumers. Glee about girth is growing. Men have their “Big Dogs” T-shirts. Regarding women, one of the fashion exhibitors at the recent “Full Figured Fashion Week” is quoted as saying about the rule not to wear horizontal stripes, “Just do it. If you’re 300 pounds, what’s the big deal about looking like you’re 305?”

Click below for more:
Welcome the Plus Sizes
Appeal to Pride of Distinctive Consumers

No comments:

Post a Comment