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Demand for plus size clothing reinforces the niche category’s global growth


Demand for plus size clothing reinforces the niche categorys global growt

On, February 22, 2023, Amazon India went live with its plus size store that has the finest collection of plus size clothing for Indian consumers, curated from leading fashion brands in India – Biba, Bigbanana, Pluss, Allen Solly, NYKD and the U.S. Polo Association among others. The outlet offers over 6,00,000 products spanning 2XL to 8XL. While going live, the head of Amazon Fashion India, Saurabh Srivastava said India is a fast-growing plus size market, mirroring the growth worldwide and just like Amazon elsewhere, the Indian division of the global e-commerce giant is catering to the needs of a diverse range of customers and is being inclusive.

Creation of the plus size consumer

Demand for plus size clothing is rising as plus-size customers across the world seek attractive and trendy garments that are readily available in larger sizes. Valued at $276 billion in 2022, the worldwide closing value projected for 2023 sits at $288 billion.

While the debate rages regarding mainstreaming of plus size clothing, brands have jumped in to cater to a large global market that is predicted to keep growing at CAGR of 5.7 per cent as projected until 2032. When Walmart launched a new plus-size brand named Terra and Sky in 2018, it proved to be a runaway success in the US which has a sizeable number of plus size consumers. The US is leading and will continue leading the world as the biggest plus size clothing market as it has the world’s largest plus size population and the category of clothing sells the most here.

High street plus size apparel retailers such as River Island, Marks & Spencer, and New Look also now offer a wide range of plus size items to cater to demand. When global fashion labels jumped into the plus size bandwagon, regional and local brands followed, boosting the size of a market that was considered niche even five years ago. Zara and the Good American launched their first size inclusive collection of denims in May 2022, creating a path for other globally-popular brands to follow, wherein a collection covers the entire range of sizes so everyone gets the size that’s right for them. As social and legacy media are championing inclusivity and body positivity, such campaigns are seeing the plus size clothing industry becoming mainstream, generating greater demand. Sports brands Adidas, Puma, Nike and Under Armour have introduced plus size clothing for both genders and teenagers. H&M, Mango, ASOS, and bridge-brand Michael Kors have extended their regular lines to include plus size units.

Trends in plus size market

A report by Allied Market Research reveals, casual wear leads growth of the plus size category, followed by formal wear. Plus size sportswear is fast catching up and currently comes in third. Men’s clothes are predicted to become the driver of growth as men’s plus size clothing is selling more than women’s. However, the world is seeing a rapid increase of obese women and soon sales of women’s plus size clothing may level with men’s. In the Western world, the age group with the highest purchase of plus size clothing is 60 years and above.

During the forecast period, the mid-priced clothing segment is expected to dominate the plus size clothing market which is why luxury fashion brands are being cautious about the category. Following the US, as the market leader, the Middle East and Asia are expected to become sizeable markets as their population is registering a sharp rise in obesity.


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