I found myself rather annoyed at the article referenced below as well. From Kate Harding's blog Shapely Prose:
This article pissed me off on so many levels, I don’t even want to get started. I’ll just quote from a gchat I had with Fillyjonk yesterday.
FJ : was that the article about how there are fewer plus size fashion shops/lines because of lack of demand?
unlike every other segment of the retail economy, which is just zipping along?
life and style reporters are probably going to be sucking that teat for a while
“demand for popsicles is down!”
“demand for furbies is down!”
me: “demand for newspapers is down!” oh, wait.
[There is some discussion of just posting inflammatory quotes from the article and letting Shapelings have at it.]
me: “For one, plus-size collections are expensive to make—as much as 10% more than standard lines, experts estimate—because they require additional fabrics, and special fit models and patterns.”
SPECIAL fit models and patterns. The other ones are normal, so they don’t count.
Or cost money.
“’They’re really bargain shoppers,’ says Catherine Schuller, a plus-size expert and former editor at Mode, a magazine for larger women. Many are homemakers who can’t spend considerable amounts on clothes and are willing to sacrifice their own spending for their families, especially now, Ms. Schuller says.”
Um, with all due respect to the segment that fits that description, if that’s your understanding of the entire fatty fashion market, maybe I get why Mode failed.
FJ: maybe i should write something
it would have to be really short and horrible
me: And the one that really got me: ”Because these shoppers prefer to buy online, according to industry insiders…”
WE BUY ONLINE BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE THE FUCKING OPTION OF BUYING IN STORES.
Me: Which extends to the fact that, if we go to the mall, it’s to see if the one fat store has anything that fits us, so there’s not so much point in going to the damned mall
Whereas people buying straight sizes can go to the mall to try on things at 20 stores.
FJ: right! but no, it must be because WE PREFER TO SIT IN OUR HOUSES AND WALLOW IN SHAME
Me: Also, once again, a company’s marketing fail gets blamed on the market.
How many Shapelings have said, “Wait, Ann Taylor carries up to 18? I had no idea.”
BECAUSE THEY DON’T TELL ANYONE.
And then no one comes in and buys those sizes, so obvs, the market doesn’t exist
FJ: it’s as though they have to rediscover marketing for the plus-size market
“well, for normal-size people, we make a product and tell them how great it is, and then they buy it”
“for fatties, i think maybe we should try pretending the product doesn’t exist and see how that goes”
me: Ha, no kidding! We’ll cram a couple of plus sizes in the back, never say anything about it, and just wait for the customers to arrive! It’s a plan!
FJ: we’ll be rich! rich!!
me: Also, it’s important to have a deep understanding of the market…
So here’s what you need to know:
They never leave the house. They don’t like to spend money. They don’t want to look attractive.
FJ: they’re unlovable & they eat too much
they probably own one million cats
we did a lot of focus groups