The struggle to find plus-size children’s clothing is real.
By Rieva Lesonsky
I’ve recently lost a good deal of weight—and one of the benefits of slimming down is not having to hunt for stylish and affordable plus-size clothing. Unfortunately, for many Americans that struggle continues. And now, according to new research from Mintel, 15 percent of parents with children under 12 admit to struggling in the last year when buying clothes for their kids.
For entrepreneurs interested in pursuing this opportunity, Mintel reports the problem is more prevalent in urban areas—where it’s likely easier to connect with these consumers.
Consumers have a lot of complaints about shopping for plus-size kids’ clothes, so if you’re interested in selling these garments, your job is to address these concerns. For instance, 17 percent of parents complain about the sales personnel in stores selling plus-size clothes, calling them unfriendly and not helpful. What’s more, 15 percent have “unpleasant” dressing room experiences or shop in places that don’t even have dressing rooms.
- 34 percent of parents say there’s a “poor selection of clothing” in their child’s size.
- 30 percent complain the merchandise lacks variety.
- 30 percent say the clothing is overpriced.
Beyond plus sizes, children’s apparel overall is a huge market. Mintel says last year children’s apparel sales hit $45 billion and should grow to $47.2 billion by 2020. Most clothing sold is for girls (47 percent), followed by boys (32 percent) and infants and toddlers (20 percent) Infant clothing is experiencing the most growth (up 5.7 percent from 2013 to 2015) and Mintel projects that will increase as birth rates will likely continue to climb.
Whether plus size or not, a popular alternative to buying new kids’ clothes, particularly with Millennials and those living in urban markets, is shopping at consignment and resale stores, which Mintel reports 23 percent of all parents and 28 percent of Millennial parents currently are doing. Already, according to Mintel, resale websites are attracting the attention of venture capitalists. A plus-size resale website for kids could be a particularly hot concept.