Big and tall men's apparel retailer Casual Male Retail Group is to launch its Casual Male XL and Rochester brands online in six European countries.

The retail brand operator has partnered with GSI Commerce for the design, development and operations of the online stores.

Its web stores are now live in the UK and will be rolling out in Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands over the coming week.

David Levin, president and CEO of Casual Male Retail Group, said: "We are very excited about entering into these key European markets and expanding our presence beyond just our UK Rochester store.

"Until now the EU market has had a limited selection of big and tall apparel and I think we will be able to answer the market's needs by introducing our brands to the six regions."

GSI is providing the web store design, technology, order processing, fulfillment and customer call centre services for the web stores.

Casual Male said that the demand for big and tall apparel is rising throughout Europe, with over 135m European adults affected by weight issues.

It added that the number of Internet users in Europe is also growing rapidly, with a 25% annual growth rate expected between now and 2011.