Blog: Leonie BarrieShopping’s a growing problem for large ladies

Leonie Barrie | 12 January 2006

So, home shopping retailers are expanding their share of the UK’s outsize women’s clothing market at the expense of high street stores. New research from TNS Worldpanel Fashion shows that catalogues are becoming more adept at providing specialist collections for this sector of the population, despite efforts from many high street stores to broaden their ranges of larger sized collections.

With sales of size 16+ clothing accounting for around a third of all women’s wear expenditure, this can hardly be described as a niche market. In fact, it’s worth a whopping £3.5bn a year. So it’s alarming to hear that some retailers are still failing to provide the range and variety that larger women expect.

But maybe it’s that they’re simply failing to provide the shopping experience that these women want. Communal changing rooms and the embarrassment of not being able to find anything to fit are hardly conducive to an enjoyable foray round the shops. Tellingly, home shopping offers larger-sized women the opportunity to choose and try on items in the comfort of their own home - as well as a wider range of bespoke styles and fittings. So perhaps it's not surprising that home shopping - which of course includes online shopping - for large ladies is the next big thing in retail.


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