The consumerism cultures today in the United States and the United Kingdom have led to the growth of the plus size population, which has positively affected the fashion industry. In the past, there were few options available for the plus size population to buy their clothes and a few range of options to choose from them. However, most fashion stores have identified the increasing trend of the plus size people and are equally responding to their fashion need by stocking the stores with fashionable and trendy clothes and other wears.
The plus size fashion generally defines the women from size 16 and above, and size 12 and above in the United Kingdom and the United States respectively. They are usually designated as large, size plus, outsize and even 16 and plus. Following the current population trends in the United States and UK, the average women’s sizes are 12 and 16 in the respective countries. The NHS Health Survey for England 2009 revealed that there are about 38 percent and 23 percent overweight and obese people respectively. This implies that 61 percent of the population are the plus size fashion consumers. This figure is, however, projected to rise from 31 million in 2009 to 5.7 billion in 2016.
Figure 1: Plus size Customers
The people that I will interview in this research includes the plus size customers of different ages, the retailers of the plus size fashion industry, and the marketers of the plus size clothing. Based on the age factor, I would like to ascertain the nature of the industry in the past ten years and its current state from the perspective of the customers and the retailers. The marketers will inform me about the customer requirements and how most of these customers are reached on different platforms.
Ideas for Observation and Documentation
The main ideas for observation and documentation here include the demographics in plus size fashion industry, the importance of social media in developing the plus size industry, and the changes in trends such as availability of plus size fashion stores.
The plus size fashion industry is one of the fastest growing businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom considering the growing population of the overweight individuals. Fashion retailers have also identified this trend, thereby providing this population with their requirements. Currently, there are countless fashion stores for the plus size fashion because of the increased acceptance of this population in these societies. People discriminated against the overweight members of the society in the past leading to the neglect by the fashion industry. The biggest opportunity in the industry today is the high population of the plus size people, which implies more sales. The social media has also added more opportunities to the retailers and marketers since people resort to the social media to check the trending fashions form celebrities and retailers as well as designers.
After assessing the plus size industry, I believe that starting up a plus size fashion store would be a very profitable business idea. This is because despite the high number of fashion stores for this population, most of these stores are just setting up and the demand far outweighs supply in this industry.
Figure 2: A Plus Size customer and store
Mae Anderson. “Fashion industry struggles to meet plus-size demand for women.” Journal Sentinen. (Oct. 27, 2013). Accessed March 5, 2014 http://www.jsonline.com/business/fashion-industry-struggles-to-meet-plus-size-demand-for-women-b99126473z1-229465621.html