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N Brown eyes plus-size growth with new brands

N Brown, the home-shopping group, has moved a step closer to cementing its position as a key player in the plus-size market with the launch of two new mail-order brands.

Williams & Brown, available at www.williamsandbrown.co.uk, targets men aged 45 to 60 with casual­wear and tailoring pieces in chest sizes 36in to 66in, waist sizes 32in to 54in and four leg lengths.

The second launch, That’s My Style, is available at www.thatsmy style.co.uk and targets women in the 50 to 64-year-old age bracket in dress sizes 16 and above.

The group said menswear, which accounts for about 9% of total sales, is its fastest-growing business segment, with menswear sales up 12% year on year in the six months to August 29.

N Brown also owns outsized multi-brand menswear etailer Jacamo and in September bought the assets of plus-size menswear chain High & Mighty.

The plus-size womenswear market was worth £2.54bn in the 24 weeks to January 31, a 4% year-on-year drop, according to retail data firm Kantar Worldpanel Fashion. The market for menswear with a 44in chest size or above was £1.02bn during the period, a 7% drop, while the market for menswear with a 38in waist or above fell 3% to £927.3m.

Kantar Worldpanel Fashion client manager Elaine Giles said that in spite of the decline she expected the market to grow within the 50 to 64-year-old age bracket.

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