Big Data Aids Retailers with Inventory Planning

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Historically, retailers have stocked clothing in their stores based on national apparel size averages. But Stitch Labs’ retail data uncovered apparel size trends in each state. This data can help retailers increase their profits by changing the size mix in each of their stores to suit the preferences and needs of customers in each state.

The data indicates that consumers in western states (California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Hawaii) prefer smaller sized apparel, purchasing almost double the amount of X-Small apparel compared to the U.S. average," says the report. "Consumers in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa, on the other hand, purchase the most X-Large and 2X-Large apparel. One in three pieces of apparel purchased in these states is an X-Large or 2X-Large.

Here’s a recap of state breakdowns from the report:

California and New York have a similar size breakdown:

•  X-Large and 2X-Large apparel accounted for 15.2 percent of sales in California and 14.8 percent of sales in New York.

•  Nearly 30 percent of apparel sold in either state is X-Small or Small.

Texas consumers prefer larger apparel:

•  Five times more X-Larges are sold in Texas than X-Smalls.

•  For every X-Small apparel item sold, nearly 11 Large apparel items are sold in Texas, compared to 7.5 nationwide.

Southern states purchase the least 2X-Large apparel:

•  2X-Large apparel makes up 2.6 percent of sales in this region, compared to the national average of 4.1 percent.

Connecticut’s sizing breakdown most closely resembles the U.S. average:

•  For every 100 items sold in Connecticut, less than 1 item will have a different size than 100 items sold nationwide.

Average U.S. sizing breakdown:

•  3.7 percent of apparel sold is X-Small

•  21 percent of apparel sold is Small

•  28 percent of apparel sold is size Large

•  13.9 percent of apparel sold is X-Large

•  4.1 percent of apparel sold is 2X-Large

"The only thing more frustrating to a consumer than an out of stock product is when the size they need is out of stock," said Brandon Levey, CEO and co-founder of Stitch Labs in a statement to the press.  "The apparel industry is a $300+ billion dollar industry in the U.S. alone. The data indicates that even small differences in what businesses purchase versus what customers want to buy puts millions of dollars of revenue at risk every year. When businesses make uninformed purchasing decisions, like using the national average for size ratios, they unnecessarily jeopardize their revenue growth opportunities."