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Fat Lad at the Back expands range and eyes Evans Cycles store debut

Plus-size cycling brand Fat Lad at the Back will expand into running and triathlon gear for spring 15 as it looks to make its bricks-and-mortar debut in Evans Cycles stores.

The Yorkshire brand, which was founded by husband and wife Richard and Lynn Bye, has been producing cycling clothing for men with 28-inch to 60-inch waist sizes and 36-inch to 58-inch chests since October 2013. A womenswear range, Fat Lass at the Back, launch in July 2014.

It is now in the early stages of developing collections for male and female runners, while it is likely the triathlon range will be for men only.

Lynn Bye told Drapers the business is also contemplating a casualwear range, but could not say when it might be available. “People like wearing our clothes; it’s like they’re in a club. Our T-shirts sell well and we’re asked a lot about sweatshirts. We think they’d want to wear them on a casual basis,” she explained.

Fat Lad sells online through its own website and the menswear range has been stocked online by Evans Cycles since April. Evans will also stock Fat Lass at the Back online from October.

Wholesale prices range from £6.58 for a buff to £67.78 for a waterproof jacket.

Bye said sales through the brand’s fatladattheback.com website have increased by 23% each month on average since its launch. Menswear has also enjoyed early success with Evans: “They have reordered three times since June,” said Bye.

Fat Lad is currently only stocked online, but Bye said it is in early discussions with Evans to move into some of its stores. “It’s a competitive space; we’d be behind a lot of big brands,” she said. “But we’d like to do something in the retail space so could measure the response from the public.”

The range would benefit from this move, she said, because there are a lot of variables in the fit: “The Lycra has a 360-degree stretch, so if it goes out it shortens. If you’re tall or have a slightly larger tummy, the bottoms will be shorter on the leg.

“Even with our sizing model it’s a difficult thing to get your head around buying. In store you could take four items into the changing room and find the best fit.”

She said Fat Lad would eventually like to open its own stores, but this is a “long way off”. There are no current plans to wholesale to independent retailers.

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