One Problem With Plus-Size Fashion: Customers Aren’t Buying It

Published 08/21/2014 by Dani B.

TIME

If plus-size fashion is a $17.5 billion industry, why are plus-size consumers still marginalized? The fashion industry takes a lot of blame, and to some extent the blame is fairly placed, but not entirely. As a plus-size fashion blogger and veteran fashion marketing consultant, I talk to women every day who are looking for more from the fashion industry. Limited variety has forced us to take a utility-vs-style approach, which is often confusing for the few trend-driven retailers navigating the space. If you’re one of the reported 100 million plus-size Americans, your own retail behavior could be more to blame than you think.

Naturally consumer behavior informs retailer decisions, but the most perplexing insight of my career was when a plus-size retailer tested shoppers, showing the same styles on size 8 and 14 models, each to a different customer segment. The size 8 model translated into more sales…

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