(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Next in our series on the plus size intimates market, we present the remarks of Dreamgirl CEO Christopher Scharff. The appearance of all the reports, presented company by company on the BODY web site, will be followed by the publication of the series in the print edition of BODY.
“The plus size woman is an integral part of our business strategy. In today’s world where the average woman is 5’4” tall and 145 pounds, our designers must take that into consideration every season as they begin the designing process,” began Scharff. “Many of our stores will only consider a style if it is also available in plus size. For 2013 our plus size strategy was to have one style in each of our hanging lingerie coordinate groups available for that plus customer. We also increased our offering for plus in our corsets, club dresses, packaged lingerie, panties and hosiery. She has been called the “Forgotten Woman,” but at Dreamgirl, we see her as sexy, beautiful and vibrant… and we are here to inspire and bring excitement to her life.”
Dreamgirl does not place its plus offerings in a specially named collection or catalog, rather “we have always had a separate section within our catalogues for the plus size collection. This allows for an exciting focused presentation in all our product categories.” In addition, Scharff pointed out, “we have always used plus size models in our catalogues and other sales tools. As this category continues to expand, we will increase our percentage of dedicated marketing dollars to the plus size offering.”
Growth within this segment is expected to be significant for Dreamgirl. “The plus size assortment currently accounts for approximately 25% of our catalogue styles. We intend to increase this by an additional 10% for 2014. We will continue to increase the plus size assortment, as sales reflect, as an integral part of our beautifully designed and merchandised catalogues.”
Scharff noted that while the plus market has expanded, some retailers are still hesitant. “Stores often lament the lack of offerings for this plus customer, however at the same time, they are often afraid to invest in this product, since it would mean giving up valuable floor space from the regular size product assortment. Currently, the plus size customer is being better served on internet sites, where floor space and inventory are not an issue. Our customers who have a commitment to this large size woman, will actually buy the styles that are offered in both regular and plus sizes more aggressively than those just offered in regular sizes. I believe that much of the future growth in retail is dependent on the retailer committing to this customer…the “forgotten women.”
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