Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fashion Profits by Thinking Bigger

About 65% of American women would be classified as overweight by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards. However, an ABC News feature this week says that only about 9% of retail revenues for women’s clothing come from sales of plus sizes. The feature attributes this discrepancy to a mistaken assumption by retailers that large women don’t want to dress fashionably.
     For men, the stigma against large is smaller. They buy “Big Dogs” T-shirts. And shops selling men’s apparel can put “Big” in the store name without alienating shoppers, while retailers selling plus-size women’s clothing stick with code words like “Lane Bryant.”
     Still, some men do hesitate. So there are retailers labeling trousers as a smaller size than the trousers really are. Debenhams, Next, and Topman in Great Britain were selling pants up to one inch larger than labeled. The objective is to have customers say, “I feel better about myself when shopping at that store rather than elsewhere, so I’ll make more of my purchases there.”
     Feet are getting bigger. Nordstrom Rack, Barefoot Tess, and are selling shoes up to size 15. Car companies are positioning pedals farther apart. Not to be left behind, toilet seat makers are enlarging sizes. Plus airlines sell extra legroom and elbow room.
     Contemplate how you can fashion higher profitability by meeting consumer desires for style in larger sizes. Recognize, however, that people buy things to help them become what they aspire to be. Most plus-size women and many plus-size men and children aspire to be thinner. As a rule, show models that are thinner than the members of your target market.
     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.
     Profit awaits retailers who help their customers achieve physical comfort when using fashionable purchases. But the measures to achieve this are not always the same as measures taken to make customers feel emotionally comfortable about shopping for larger sizes. Overall, consumer psychology findings suggest that consumers enjoy seeing items modeled by people who are somewhat thinner, although not dramatically thinner, than they themselves are.

Click below for more: 
Gain Weighty Profits with Larger Sizes 
Size Up Your Shoppers 
Appeal to Vanity

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