Niche marketing, or marketing a niche product of a niche market to a particular consumer. Or, more to the point; we sell Big (2X to 8X) and Tall (XLT to 6XLT) tee shirts and these are our customers:
But, I am 6'10" and I only weigh 265 lbs and I am one of our customers also; so is most of the NBA and NFL players! I came across an interesting statistic at Spreadshirt, which is a German based equivalent to Custom Ink and or Blue Cotton, and that was that while 3.4% of their German male customers claim to wear the size "XL or larger" t shirt in 2008; 33.6% of them actually ordered an XL or larger t shirt from Spreadshirt in 2008!
Now, I wear a 2XLT and I know that if I visit a site like Spreadshirt, Custom Ink, Blue Cotton, Threadless, Cafe Press, or Zazzle, I am not visiting to buy anything because nothing there will ever fit me. Since I visit these sites regularly, because shortly I hope to create a big and tall (I call it a 'sized centric' business model) of their business model, I also notice that more and more they are telling their customers to order one size bigger than what they normally order as their shirts are "slim fit."
I read where the average American has 26 screen printed tees in their closet! I don't have any where near that many but its because I can't find screen printed tees in my size. Which brings us to one simple question, "How many screen printed tees would I own if I could be sure that they would fit me?"
Most people think of screen printed tees as an impluse buy, and for the most part they are. But an impluse assumes the fact that you can enjoy the product; or you can wear the shirt. I can't count the number of times that I participated in events where with your registration you received a t shirt and when asked my size I said, "whatever..." because no matter what nothing would fit. Care to know how many times people went on vacation and returned with a t shirt for me that was not any where near the right size but was "...well, this was the biggest shirt we could find..."?
Over 76 million American adults are obese and another 13 million children are obese; that is on top of the 34% of Americans who are just pleaseantly "over weight." This also does not include the number of Americans, such as myself, who are just big.
If you think, "...76 million adults at an average of 26 screen printed tees each....." you realize that you come up with a market for 1.976 BILLION t shirts! Then if you add in a few thousand for the obese children, a few more thousand for the percentage of Americans who are overweight, and then add another few percentage points for those Americans who are just naturally big ( or those who are big due to steroids) you have quite a market here.