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CasualMaleXL, now wears L

April 30, 2008

CasualMale XL the overpriced plus sized clothing store for men is now planning to try to revamp its image to target less plus sized guys.

Summary from this week’s NRF Smartbrief:

Plus-size retailer Casual Male wants to expand its market with new TV ads that target a less heavy group of men from its regular 48-inch or more waistline set. The ads feature football players with the slightly narrower 42-inch to 46-inch waists who sport an athletic look in hopes of erasing the retailer’s “fat-man stigma.”

Oh what joy.  I can’t actually read the whole article because it is in the WSJ and I do not have a subscription.  But it seems like Casual Male is looking to downsize (literally) its main customer base by appealing more to slightly less fat guys.

The end of the WSJ preview reads:

But the plus-size retailer has discovered that slightly less heavy-set guys — those with 42- to 46-inch waistlines — aren’t keen on shopping there. “It’s a stigma issue,” says David Levin, chief executive of the 465-store chain.

So these moderately fat guys just don’t want to shop at the same store as the REALLY REALLY fat guys. I mean, its okay if they have a 46 inc waist, but those 48 Inchers, man, they are FAT.  No one who can squeeze themselves into a 42″ would want to be on the same planet with someone with a 48″ waist, much less the same store!

I think a reason that may have been overlooked by Casual Male for their difficulties with the moderatly big guys is that these moderately fat guys actually have other options. CasualMale is one of the few places that carries up to 8XL in actually fasionable clothes.  There simply aren’t a lot of other options once you reach a certain size.  (Which is apparently 46.1″ around the waist.)

Now the only store that sells clothing to these men of a certain size wants to remove them from their store image?  (Hopefully not from their store entirely, but I couldn’t read the rest of the article so I’m not sure.)

I mean, what are they going to say to their “too fat” customers.  “I will be happy to accept $75.00 from you for these pants that will fall apart in a few weeks, but I need you to leave quickly so that no one sees your fat ass in our store.”

Just disgusting.  Rather than fight against the stigma put on their customers by others they are simply going to cater to it.  And I know, capitalism and all that, I shouldn’t expect anything else.  But maybe they should have started this whole campaign off by… y’know… SHUTTING UP ABOUT IT.  Now all they are doing is advertising that their fat fat fat fatty customer base is just not socially acceptable enough for their store anymore.

If I can avoid ever spending another dime there again, I will.

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One Comment
  1. It’s not necessarily a good decision capitalistically speaking. It could be a huge mistake (no pun.) They might just be alienating their bread and butter. It remains to be seen. Considering the nature of what they’re doing I hope it IS a big mistake and they lose a ton of money.

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