The average women wears a size 14. More then half of the population is overweight. That is a lot of potential plus sized customers. Despite this fact, almost the entire fashion industry ignores this reality, and the $17.5 billion in annual sales plus-size women produce. Starting mid-February Target, yes that Target, is going tackle the problem head on. They will be launching a new 90 piece collection designed in-house specifically for today’s full figured women.
The new line, named Ava & Viv will feature basics and statement pieces in sizes 14-26. Hats off to Target. How this market has been so under-served for so long I have no idea. It is one of those problems and solutions that is so obvious, so in your face that its shocking so few people try to tackle it. It reminds me of another under-served but giant market, short men. Oh wait, someone is taking on that problem, me (www.originalshortees.com).
I’ve gone shopping with women who wear sizes that have two digits in them. It’s a frustration process. The options are incredibly limited, the styles and generally atrocious and unflattering and they are often designed with little thought to how plus size customers are really shaped.
Target isn’t just solving a clothing problem for today’s women. Besides the revenue potential this line can generate, they know that today’s plus size women is also a girlfriend, wife, mother, homeowner. If they can give them a genuine reason to come into the store their cart is not going to hit the checkout line with just a pair of pants. Toilet paper, soap, cleaning supplies, books, beauty products, groceries. Customers coming in to look for new clothes are going to buy more of everything Target has to offer. And that is some pretty smart business.