Blog: Leonie BarrieGeneration XL

Leonie Barrie | 27 November 2003

On the day that our US friends tuck into their Thanksgiving turkeys, top executives from food and drink firms McDonalds, Cadbury Schweppes, PepsiCo UK and Kelloggs have found themselves facing questions from the House of Commons Health Select Committee about soaring levels of obesity in the UK. The overweight issue is a problem that’s threatening to overwhelm apparel firms too – particularly in children’s wear where many clothing companies are struggling to cope with the huge range of sizes and body shapes.

The figures are startling: the number of children with weight problems has doubled in the last 20 years; and more than a third of 10-year olds are overweight.  

A new report from Verdict on the so-called Generation XL questions whether some chains should pull out of children’s wear altogether and free up space for items that yield better sales volumes. At the other end of the spectrum some retailers are believed to be looking at introducing ‘outsize’ ranges for obese children, many of whom already buy clothes designed for older children and even adults. Now that really is food for thought.


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