New direction for Big and Tall

DLS Outfitters has become the official directors of the BATA group, a national member-owned consortium of about 80 retailers who feature big and tall apparel in their stores.

Here, we talk to Fred Derring, Lee Leonard, Virginia Sandquist about their plans for the group.

Why did you decide to direct another retail group: don’t you have enough problems with one?
It makes sense because of the synergies the two groups share: both comprise independent specialty stores, they have many common vendors and merchandising strategies.

What are some of the key issues independent big and tall stores are facing today? How can they possibly compete with DXL, JCP and other majors?
All independents compete against powerful national chain stores as well as online stores. The specialty advantage is a more individualized approach to business. In addition, they offer superior customer service and can often react more quickly to trends.

Are there enough vendors making big and tall product these days?
We can all use more vendors but for big and tall merchants, the key issue is providing vendors with the correct size specifications. We plan to work with their existing vendors on this, as well as on building and designing more products for the big and tall market. We also plan to seek out new vendors to judiciously expand the fashion mix.

On Saturday, January 26 from 6 to 7pm, DLS and BATA will host a social event at the Chicago Collective in the Clubroom on the 8th floor, west side entrance. For more information: margin@dlsoutfitters.com.

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