NPD: Plus Size Apparel Performance Strong in E-commerce, Dept. Stores

In Industry News, What's New by Accessories Staff

Catherines Plus Size

Catherines Plus Size

Port Washington, NY– Plus-sized women’s clothing, which generally constitutes sizes 18 and up in the United States, grew 5% from last year, according to global information company The NPD Group. The category generated $17.5 billion in the 12 months ending April  (May’13 – April’14), compared to the $16.7 billion generated over the same time period during the previous year.

Most sales channels experienced growth between April 2013 and April 2014, namely e-commerce, off-price retailers, department stores, specialty stores, and national chains. E-commerce and department stores in particular have been growing consistently in terms of plus-size sales over the past two years, by 31% and 7% respectively.

“The plus-sized market segment is seeing light at the end of the tunnel after being hit particularly hard by the recession,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “With that, retailers and designers are now viewing this area as a growth opportunity, and today there are indeed more plus-sized choices in stores.”

In terms of demographics, 55 to 64 year-old consumers represented the largest dollar share out of all age groups, accounting for $4.2 billion, a 9%  increase. Runner up at $4 billion was the 65+ category, which also grew 9% . The 18 to 24 age group has been on the rise since April 2012, and grew 27% over a two-year period, or from $850 million to $1.1 billion. Over the past year alone, it has grown 23%, while the 25 to 34 age group increased 11%. By contrast, the 13 to 17 age group fell by 11%, 45-54 by 8%, and the 35 to 44 range has remained about the same.

About The NPD Group, Inc.

The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions.  By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth.  Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food/foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games.  For more information, visit