Plus-size menswear fails to stir the market; womenswear succeeds
A recent report by a retail analytics firm, Edited, highlights the poor growth of plus-size menswear over the last 5 years. The report stated that womenswear plussize market grew by 375 per cent in 2012-2017; while, the men’s segment reported a 54 per cent decline in the said period.
Plus-size has become a profitmaking segment for various apparel retailers over the years. Both the genders have been buying plus-size apparels to get out of the skinny and slim fit outfits which have failed to match their size. Women, in particular, have been buying more when compared to men.
Katie Smith, a Senior Analyst at Edited, explained that retailers have not been able to tap the potential of men’s plus-size market to the fullest. While they (the retailers) have understood how to target women in this segment with the latest trends, fit, colour and more, they have failed to meet even the basic needs of the plussized men.
Smith further stressed that sizing has been the key issue missed out by the retailers. A common confusion that has emerged is the differentiation between tall and big (men). It is not necessary that a man who is tall wears a plus-size or vice-versa. However, brands like ASOS, Fabletics, River Island and JCPenney are among the few trying to woo shoppers with their dedicated plus-size collections that keep the segment afloat in the market.
In the meantime, various fashion retailers have diverted their focus on segments like activewear and athleisurewear; especially for men. This has withdrawn the attention from men’s plus-size market, resulting in sales drop. While the bigger ladies continue to enjoy the icing on their ‘plus-size’ cake, the men still rummage for even a small bite of the burgeoning apparel segment.