Men's plus-size market is stagnant, analysts report

While the women’s plus-size market is growing (sales were up six percent in 2016, reaching $21.4 billion), thanks to copious brands expanding their offerings and emerging labels taking advantage of this newly popular space, the men’s plus-size channel remains stagnant, according to retail analytics firm Edited.

Research retail firm Edited reports that the men's plus-size market is being neglected. - ASOS

Data released from the firm cites that the plus-size menswear market has decreased by 54 percent over the past five years while the women’s plus-size space has increased by an impressive 375 percent. Katie Smith, a senior analyst at  Edited, reportedly argues that the reason for this diminishing number is based on the fact that brands are ignoring the male side or focusing on other apparel sectors such as active or formalwear. There’s also the confusion between what plus-size actually means—it’s not necessarily “big and tall,” though there is no substantial data to differentiate the two.

Case in point: Asos launched a plus-size men’s line last winter, but it reportedly was designed to fit taller men—not someone 5-foot-9-inches and under—thus sparking the debate that big does not always equal tall. Even so, recent stats show that the latest plus-size wares from the Asos men’s line are already 38 percent sold out.

While it appears that mega-retailers are still treading lightly in this uncertain market, smaller, indie brands like Brandon Kyle Menswear, Oublier and Volare are helping to pave the way for what many consider a necessary step towards body positivity among a male audience.

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