One of the nicest parts of working on a business idea is all the market research I’ve had to do. This has involved palming the kids off on willing mothers and other nice people and sauntering off to the British Library to look at various reports into the trends and forecasts of the clothing and apparel industry.
What is really interesting is that non-standard size sales in 2012 reached a value of £4,284 billion and it is estimated that by 2017 it will have reached just over £8,00 billion. I know that I should be able to give you a percentage value of the entire clothing & apparel industry and that is something I will find out, but even without a comparison, that figure is staggering. The fact also that they expect that to have more than doubled by 2017, suggests that these market researches and trend forecasters all know what I’ve been whanging on about for years – that the number of people like me (ie who need to wear non-standard sizes) is growing and will continue to grow for years to come.
Yet again, I ask myself why shoe retailers are not jumping on that bandwagon already? I asked a friend who works at a very well known fashion mag who also has size nines, if she could shed any light on this and she said its because at the moment, there is not enough money in it for the big retailers to make it worth their while. They all say ‘they are looking in to it’ but that is a long way from doing anything about it.
Well, we knew it had to be about money didn’t we. In the meantime, I’m trying to hunt down some heels with just two straps, for spring and summer, like the ones seen at many of the shoes in NYFW. Its London’s turn in a few weeks, it will be interesting to see what that brings for UK footwear.