Main | Thursday, January 17, 2008

Colossal Bears

Yesterday NPR did a story about Colossal, a new apparel company that is targeting bears as their first niche market.
Bill Devine is a bear in Minneapolis. He says he sometimes has trouble finding clothes that flatter a belly he calls "rotund".

DEVINE: After a while you get to the point where you just don't want to go shopping. You literally go in going, "Ok, this will fit. This will fit. I don't care."

Analysts say retailers have been banking for too long on that "I don't care" attitude. Some clothing labels have deliberately strayed from producing bigger sizes -- preferring only to have skinny people wear their clothes.

DEVINE: It's frustrating. It's frustrating to be kind of overlooked as a market, because in regards to I guess our disposable income, I would think that we would have just as much of it.

And they do. Bears have an average household income of $90,000 a year, and Devine says they're willing to pay more for quality. Marshall Cohen, a marketing analyst with the NPD group, says as Americans expand retailers ought to start thinking big. He says the bears are a good place to start.

MARSHALL COHEN: The most vocal consumer is the gay community within the male apparel industry. In other words, bears talk, and Colossal hopes they keep on talking.
Colossal is launching the line in an upcoming issue of A Bear's Life magazine.

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