In the first installment of this series, I discussed the demographics both of my store as well as of the area, and in the second, I focused on the best-selling cup and band sizes. Today, I want to combine the data on band and cup sizes to examine what bra sizes we have seen over the last year. For simplicity, I’ve created a series of bar charts for each band size that presents a detailed breakdown of the sales in each cup size:
Top 5 Best-Selling UK Bra Sizes:
- Given that E-G cup sizes account for 70% of our sales, it is not unexpected that they would make a strong showing in nearly every band size. However, the 44 band size has the best distribution for GG+ cup sizes.
- In multiple band sizes, it seems like the two best-selling cup sizes often “skip” a middle size, e.g., in 32 bands, E and FF cups dominate instead of E and F.
Larger Cups and Smaller Bands
As a large cup/small band woman, I’ve mentioned before that I find the lack of options frustrating, and yet, my own sales data seems to indicate why. For the 8% of our customers wearing a 28 or 30 band, next to none are above a G cup. Even women in the 32 band are overwhelmingly likely to be a G Cup and under (with the 32DDD being our best-selling size for the entire store). It’s not until we start venturing into 38+ bands that we begin to see more sales in the GG-K cup range. Data like this emphasizes the importance of and strengthens my commitment to our special order policy. Given our sales records, it does not behoove us to invest in inventory that won’t sell (or will only do so infrequently), which is not to imply we won’t carry small band/large cup sizes only to mention that we won’t have as diverse an assortment as we do for our best-selling sizes.
A Small Bands Addendum
Going one step further than merely addressing the dearth of smaller bands/larger cups, I want to offer a tentative explanation as to why we don’t see many small bands in general. With all of our 28 band size customers wearing between a DD and G cup, we’re looking at women who may not even realize how large their cup size really is. According to the often used albeit woefully inaccurate +4 method, women in this band size could be wearing anything from 32A-DD. In fact, most of the women who leave the store with a 28 or 30 band often came in wearing a 32D, 34C, or 36B. Because their breast tissue isn’t as heavy as someone who wears a 32J, for example, they may never find the need to educate themselves about their correct bra size. Couple that with our early reputation for being a store for plus-size women or women with big boobs, and the potential for many of our 28 and 30 band customers to write us off as “not for them” increases.
Bigger Cups for 40+ Bands
The blogosphere offers a plethora of fabulous, curvy women, but the majority wear under a 36 band and are at least an F cup. However, there’s another large cup market that is severely under-represented: Women who wear 40+ bands and G+ cups. Many of our customers fall into this category, and in some cases, we’ve had to marry the work of an adept seamstress with what manufacturers produce simply because the cup sizes aren’t big enough. In fairness, I have seen more women wearing H-J cup bras in these band sizes than in the smaller ones, and the options are even scarcer. I have high hopes that Panache’s Sculptress line will bridge the gap and give these women new options.
The Skip Phenomenon
As I mentioned in the observations, I was intrigued by how the two most popular cup sizes for a given band always seemed to skip size. I don’t really have an explanation for this, but I found it fascinating nonetheless that there really wasn’t a set pattern for each cup size. In some cases, there was a build-up to the best-selling sizes, but in others there seemed to be two dominating sizes with little sales in-between. As we’re open longer and have more data to pull from, I’ll be interested to see if these sales start to normalize.
Now, that you’ve seen all of the statistics, what are you thoughts? Are there any other store owners out there willing to present an alternative view? Professional fitters feel free to offer a view as well!