Shorter guys have a big problem. These people want to repair it
Peter Manning just desired a pair of chinos that fit and a shirt that didn't fall to his knees.
"There was a minute when I’d just gone and spent hundreds and hundreds at the tailors, and I just had had it. I thought there's got to be a much better method," he said.
This aggravation led the 5-foot-8 Manning to discover an eponymous fashion line catering to shorter guys. The market for this kind of clothes is enormous, with a fourth of the roughly 160 million men in America measuring 5 feet 7.3 inches and below.
Despite the potentially huge client base, e-commerce sites like Manning's remain a relative rarity in retail, while clothes for other niche classifications such as big-and-tall men, plus-size women and women' petites are commonplace.
"Our customer his entire life has actually either been shopping at the boys' store, which is embarrassing, or he's had to take clothes to the tailor, who is expensive," stated Jeff Hansen, the company's CEO and co-founder who is 5 feet 9.
Manning and Hansen decreased to share exact figures however said annual sales run in the "millions" for the brand, which launched in 2012 and ships to all 50 states and 21 foreign nations.
A newer entrant to the category, Ash & Anvil, is likewise aiming to fill a need in this underserved market with $69 everyday button downs that will not spend a lot. Since launching in November, the company has actually drawn in roughly 1,000 customers.
For its everyday t-shirt, the company measured more than 100 much shorter people, varying from 5 feet to 5 feet 8, and invests half a year creating it.
"Not one guy we spoke to that was much shorter could find clothing off the rack that fit well," said Steven Mazur, its CEO and co-founder who stands at 5 feet 6.
The shorter male classification is so underserved that market research study firm NPD Group does not even track its size.
"It's definitely the most disregarded absolutely the most ignored market. I'm repeating it because it's worth repeating," said Marshal Cohen, primary retail analyst at The NPD Group.
Key problems much shorter men deal with, such as trousers with too long of an inseam and shirts with sleeves that aren't the right length, impact more men than you might think.
"You do not have to be all that brief to have this issue. If you're 5-9 or below, you can have this issue, and it's a great portion of individuals who have this issue," Cohen stated.
So why aren't more mainstream retailers taking note? Cohen said it's because they are going after bigger slices of the market instead of trying to be all things to all consumers.
"The only thing that's saving the much shorter person today is the internet. Why is that? Because stores have actually gotten dollar-focused instead of customer-focused," he said.