Childrenswear retailers must do more to cater to niche sizes , especially for those that are taller than average for their age or overweight , as choice is currently lacking in the sector . Investment in these sizes will be beneficial to the retailer ’ s sales prospects and bolster their appeal , ensuring that parents do not have to turn to alternative clothing retailers . Likewise , it will also benefit parents , minimising the need to buy into adult clothing ranges , which are subject to VAT . Retailer Next recently introduced a range of plus fit casualwear for children aged three to 16 , making it one of only a few players in the market to do so . While H & amp ; M also offers a small range of plus fit childrenswear for ages eight to 14 , called Generous Fit , the likes of Tesco , Asda and M & amp ; S only cater to this fit in school uniform ranges – a missed opportunity .
While the Health Survey for England in 2015 found that 28 . 2 % of children aged two to 15 were either overweight or obese , GlobalData forecasts this figure to have risen to 31 . 3 % in 2017 *. However , unlike with adult obesity , which has given rise to successful plus size retailers such as Simply Be , as well as investment from non – specialists such as boohoo . com , ASOS and River Island , there remains limited accessibility of niche sizes in childrenswear .
Sizing challenges continue for children above average height . Where plus fit , in the case of M & amp ; S ’ s uniform range , offers at least an additional two inches width on the waist and hips , these items do not help those with a longer than average torso or leg . For instance , a boy with a leg length of over 34 . 5inches must purchase a 32 – 34inch waist trouser ( an adult size ) to ensure fit is adequate . In addition , the demand for value will also encourage many parents to purchase with ‘ room to grow ’ meaning that parents may purchase two sizes or more than the child ’ s actual age where the true age sizing does not fit , resulting in an even greater fit issue .
Retailers will face issues with stocking extra fits instore , so any additional plus fit or tall fit lines should primarily be sold online , with a physical presence restricted to regional flagship stores . Clarity is required to convey how sizing differs to standard ranges , and this needs to be evident both online via sizing guides but also instore using appropriate signage and product swing tags . This will ensure that browsing instore remains as simple as possible with minimal shopper confusion . As leading childrenswear retailers such as the grocers and M & amp ; S have strong online propositions with competitive delivery offers , these retailers can ensure that access to extra fits is still convenient by emphasising their click & amp ; collect and next day delivery options .