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Retailers’ Size Curves are Broken: Report

Weight-loss drugs impacting fashion apparel orders




Photo: Ivan-balvan/

GLP-1 drugs – weight-loss medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy – are expected to have a major impact on fashion retailers’ size curves. That trend is examined in a recent white paper from Impact Analytics titled “Retailers’ Size Curves are Broken.”

In the retail apparel industry, size curves play a pivotal role in inventory management, as most retailers make upcoming season buy decisions six to nine months in advance, the report notes. These curves, specific to each product type and point of distribution, influence which sizes are included in the assortment as well as the quantity of each size (small, medium, large, etc.) ordered.

“Surprisingly, many retailers have clung to the same size curves for years despite evidence suggesting their inaccuracy,” notes the report, which was authored by Impact Analytics’ CEO Prashant Agrawal. “Our work shows that a fashion retailer with $1 billion in annual sales incurs substantial losses due to this rigidity, amounting to $20 million in margin losses and $20 million in lost sales, on average.”

The emergence of GLP-1 drugs further complicates this situation. As these drugs gain popularity for their ability to aid weight loss, retailers will confront a greater challenge in determining size curves and managing inventories.

“Retailers who fail to adapt to these evolving body shapes and sizes will risk incurring sales and margin losses as a result of deteriorating match rates,” the report notes. “Fortunately, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence present a solution that offers retailers the flexibility and accuracy needed to swiftly adjust size curves to effectively meet the changing demands (and bodies) of their customers.”

Click here to request a download of the Impact Analytics report.



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