Sales of plus-sized womenswear have soared 45% in the UK over the past five years, putting the market on track to reach £3.8bn this year.
Research by consumer research firm Mintel showed that almost a quarter of UK women wear clothes in a size 18 or over.
Plus-sized womenswear chain Evans is the latest retailer to cash in on the growing market. The 260-store retailer, which is part of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, is poised to target overweight teens with the introduction of exclusive ranges from around five young fashion obrands in selected stores and online.
The retailer is expected to roll out an ecommerce site for the offer under a standalone name, although the name and launch date have yet to be decided.
Marks & Spencer also introduced a plus-size range of kids’ uniforms last month, and designer label Marc Jacobs is understood to be launching pieces in size 14 and above.
Tamara Sender, senior fashion analyst at Mintel, said: “Rising levels of obesity in the UK mean that [the number of] plus-size consumers is increasing and these shoppers are looking for improved choice in plus-size clothing and more fashionable garments.
“Given the numbers of not just plus-size women, but also men, with a third wearing XL clothes or bigger, these consumers can no longer be considered a minority or niche sector and retailers of all types of clothing need to wake up to the growth potential of this market.”