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Evans adds brands to tempt teenagers

Plus-sized womenswear chain Evans is to trial a branded young fashion offer in selected stores and online in a bid to capitalise on the growing market for trend-led clothes for larger-sized teens.

The 260-store retailer, part of Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, currently targets women of all ages in sizes 14 to 32 but wants to segment the market so it can focus its marketing and product more efficiently to specific demographics.

Evans is expected to launch a transactional website for the offer under a standalone name, which has yet to be decided. The site will offer exclusive ranges from about five young fashion brands including Ruby Rocks. A launch date has not been finalised.

Talks have also been held with MaxC and Punkyfish about supplying product. Ruby Rocks will create an exclusive offer for the young fashion concept, including larger interpretations of pieces such as its tie-dye and splash-print jumpsuits and long-sleeved batwing dresses. It has also created a zebra-print Martini dress for the venture.

Evans declined to comment but Ruby Rocks design and production director Izzy Przedpelski told Drapers: “This is the first site specifically designed for the younger, larger girl who wants to be really on trend.”

The site will target plus-sized teens and women in their 20s and allow Evans to test young, directional brands without driving away its established customer base.

The Ruby Rocks range for Evans will also be available in 15 Evans stores from autumn in a Ruby Rocks-branded section. Sources told Drapers this may be expanded into a young fashion department hosting other young fashion brands.

Evans launched a trend-led young fashion range designed by singer Beth Ditto in July 2009 which included figure-hugging pieces as well as items designed to skim over plus-sized curves.

It is the latest retailer to cater to the growing waistlines of UK teens, with Marks & Spencer introducing a plus-size range of kids’ uniforms last month. Designer label Marc Jacobs is also reportedly understood to be gearing up to launch pieces in size 14 and above.

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