Can the high street get a break?

The high street is moaning. The wet weather has seen retailers bring their summer sales forward, which in some cases is quite ironic as surely it would have to be sunny to wear these lovely summer clothes, and just this week Greggs blamed the rain for its poor sales. We also have reports that the Olympics scare mongering has kept people out of the city and therefore away from the shops.

Mindi Chahal

However, there is one trend at the moment that could provide a break for retailers looking to get customers back in-store. Research seen by Marketing Week has shown that the plus-size market is growing. It reveals that a fifth of men wear extra large and bigger clothing with a waist of 38in and above, and close to one in five women (17 per cent) wear size 18 and above garments, categorising them as plus size.

Mintel estimates that the total value of the plus sized clothing market will reach £8.2bn in 2017.

With the rise in obesity and the lack of plus-size retailers available, this presents an opportunity to target a traditionally underserved market,which could boost flagging sales on the high-street.

M&S is becoming more consumer focused in-store by launching digital initiatives with the trial of iPads to give customers access to the wider range available online and kiosks offering ‘virtual makeovers’ in the beauty department.

Also, new research suggests that advertisers are alienating men and women because they continue to use outdated gender stereotypes in their advertising. All in all we need to see improvements in targeting consumers, as one size fits all is no longer relevant.

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