After discussing cup sizes and band sizes, we can now put the two studies together to discuss popular bra sizes for the shop. Below are a series of graphs showing the cup size sales for bands 28-46. (Note: Graphs use UK-sizing for the cups.)
- 32FF and 36G
- With E-G cups accounting for 62% of our sales, I am not surprised by their strong concentration in every band size, nor am I shocked that our top-selling sizes are also within that range.
- The distribution of GG+ cup sizes steadily improved with each year of operation, and the higher frequency of customer needing GG-HH cups facilitated the expansion of higher cup sizes as well as the inclusion of new product lines.
- While we do sell bras in the 48-56 band size range, the data points are scarce, erratic, and highly influenced by sales to single customers, i.e., one customer may have bought 12 bras over three years in her size. Including them would not aid in identifying trends or in explaining our inventory selection.
Small Bands and Large Cups
The small bands/large cups conundrum crops up every year in the series, and finally, our statistics are showing a strong improvement in sales. While GG-K cups in 28 or 30 bands continue to be rare, the distribution for 32-36 became significantly better. In fact, 34-36 H and HH cups have become a popular size cluster for the shop, even if the graphs do not adequate illustrate this. Some weeks, keeping stock in those sizes is difficult, and with more options available now, many of these women are taking advantage of our special order policy to test new styles or snag other colors in their favorites. Furthermore, our sales in the J-K cup range has increased to account for 4.34% of sales. Obviously, this market will not have as strong or popular a showing as the E-G cup sizes, but with more women finding the shop and proving the demand exists, I am hopeful companies will listen and strive to serve their needs. Not to mention, the recent partnership with Comexim and Anna Pardal has boosted our sales in the GG+ market too. UK manufacturers struggle to understand and design bras for this customer, and even some of the better options are still plagued with fit problems, such as tall underwires, wide center gores, or underwires which do not tack. With Comexim and Anna Pardal part of our retail mix, these women have found a new alternative, and the cornucopia of colors and prints means more long term sales for us. However, while I believe the results prove a market exists for small bands and large cups, it is still smaller than the C-G crowd. Some retailers may prefer to save floor space and valuable cash flow for sizes that turnover faster, so it’s important to make your needs known and work with the boutiques to get you the options you deserve.
The New Mainstream
For what seemed like an eternity, the mainstream bra sizes were 32A-C, 32-36 A-DD, and 38C-DD, and while this abysmally small size cluster maintains popularity, big box retailers have expanded to occasionally include E/DDD and F/G cups into the mix. However, this alleged “mainstream” totally misses a significant population of women needing more than 30-something sizes. If our store results are any indication, the popular sizes range in the D-G cups with heavy distributions across 30-40 bands. Women are unique. We have different torso lengths, different ribcage shapes, different weight distributions, different body types, different breast shapes, different breast roots, and different personal preferences. For a store to promote proper fit techniques and to be successful, I think it’s imperative that there be a wider selection in these sizes.
Our sales have been growing and growing since we opened, and I think the statistics this year really prove how time can fine tune the results, evening out some of the abnormalities for a better representation. In our first year, I wrote about the graphs were not as bell-shaped as I anticipated, but now they are approaching the form significantly better. We also saw better distributions in some of the less common bands like 28, 30, 44, and 46. Even our sales for 48+ bands have picked up more, but again, they still are more heavily swayed by individual purchases than the other band sizes. As always, I am looking forward to seeing what next year brings, but I am also curious about the five year mark too. Will 34F be our new champion, or will we see a rise in some other bra sizes? Now that we have expanded to include A-C cups in the shop more often, will their momentum continue to build? Furthermore, when we are finally able to carry brands that address some of the size gaps from which our current manufacturers suffer, such as smaller cups in larger bands, will we see even more changes? I’ll just have to be patient!
While this concludes the sizing portion of the series, I am also going to write one final post which looks at our best-selling bras and non-bra products. I am also going to briefly discuss the buying tendencies we have seen in the shop that enable those styles to succeed. It should be an interesting way of ending the series and exploring our buying process!