Jan 22, 2017
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Asos adds men's plus-size and tall departments

Jan 22, 2017

Asos has become the first major trend-driven fashion retailer to launch a dedicated men's plus-sized section on its site, as well as a tall department, featuring branded and own-brand product. The website, which targets 20-something consumers, has started stocking hundreds of products with sizes up to XXXXL.

A bomber jacket from Asos Plus - ASOS

The globally-focused e-tailer flagged the expansion when it delivered its final results in the autumn and also hinted at further launches in specialist categories.

The move into branded larger sizes comes after Asos earlier launched an own-label line of plus-sized clothing for men.

The company now has around 200 items on its site that are tagged as plus-sized and around 150 for tall men (6ft 3ins and over). More pieces will be added next month, the e-tailer saying it wants to give its male customers as much choice as female shoppers have.

It plans to stock products that are just as trend-driven as its regular-sized ranges and is offering brands including Adidas, Wrangler, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Burton.

Plus-size has been one of the most dynamic expansion categories of the last decade but the headlines have largely been grabbed by womenswear. E-commerce platforms that focus specifically on plus-size women, like Coverstory, have been thriving. Even Kourtney Kardashian launched a size-inclusive line targeted at women with curves, bringing in $1m in sales on just the first day the collection was available. Trade show Premiere Classe also created an expanded section for plus-sized fashion for its upcoming annual edition.

However, men’s larger size sales have also been building steadily. Mintel last year said 17% of British men want larger sizes when shopping in-store with around 21% of men aged 25-34 looking for such sizes. Retailers have been quietly providing them with more choice and N Brown said last week that its Jacomo line was one of the power brands that are helping to drive its sales growth.

But this latest move by Asos is important as it positions men’s larger sizes squarely in the trend sector. An Asos representative told MIC, a millenial-centric news website: "We’ve had this curve collection for a while [for women] so it’s been a very obvious thing to look at menswear. That matched with searches online for bigger sizes, knowing what the market’s doing and knowing that not anyone is really doing it, it was obvious. There’s gaps in the market that made it make sense."

And it looks like there are more specialist category launches to come. Back in October the company had said: “We enter the new financial year with exciting plans for the continued growth of specialist departments in Womenswear and we will be launching 'Big' and 'Tall' specialist ranges in Menswear.

“We can also now fully realise the sportswear opportunities in the market following global settlement of the trademark infringement disputes, with new categories and brands becoming available in our branded edit alongside a new own-label sportswear range. Alongside this we will be expanding gifting, beauty and grooming, lifestyle and loungewear ranges. We remain customer obsessed, continuously developing our retail offer to deliver the greatest possible choice of relevant fashion at the best price, whatever their shape or size.”

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