Emma Clifford
Emma is Associate Director, Food & Drink. She provides insight on the UK F&D market with a special focus on healthy eating and is regularly featured in the national media.

“With many larger women feeling marginalised within the fashion arena, the launch of four new Simply Be outlets this spring should help to coax these traditionally reluctant shoppers onto the high street.”

For more information, please see Fashion – Size Matters – UK – July 2011

What we’ve seen from the plus-size market

  • Mintel estimates that over the last five years the plus-size women’s fashion market has increased by 47% to a value of £4 billion in 2011.
  • Nearly one in five consumers (20% of men and 17% of women) currently wear plus-size clothing and, with obesity levels predicted to soar, this proportion is expected to rise over the next few decades.
  • Plus-size shoppers remain dissatisfied with the lack of non-mainstream fashion options available to them on the high street, and many are forced to turn to online specialist retailers.

Britons’ waistlines are expanding

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<p>Obesity is prevalent in the UK, with a fifth of consumers recording a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30, classifying them as clinically obese. This corresponds to 4.8 million men and 5.8 million women. Indeed, research conducted for the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) by Data agency Eurostat indicate that the UK has the highest proportion of obese women in Europe.</p>
<p>Obesity among both men and women has edged up by 2 percentage points between 2007 and 2011. Furthermore, Obesity levels are predicted to soar over the next few years generating substantial demand for plus-size clothing. Although larger consumers spend less per head on clothing than mainstream shoppers, the sheer numbers indicate that there are substantial opportunities in the plus-size market for the right players.</p>
<p><strong><img id=http://oxygen.mintel.com/sinatra/oxygen/image/id=613180&seq=1 (Trends in obesity, by gender, 2007-11 Base: adults aged 15 ) : http://oxygen.mintel.com/sinatra/oxygen/image/id=613180&seq=2 (Percentage of adult population in England with BMI of over 30, by age and socio-economic group, 2011 Base: adults aged 15+ ) : http://oxygen.mintel.com/sinatra/oxygen/image/id=613180&seq=4 (Least preferred outlets to purchase clothes at stores, and proportion who stated they prefer not to shop there because the clothes sizes are too small, August 2011 Base: 990 female internet users aged 16+ )