The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. has signed an agreement with Casual Male Retail Group Inc. for Casual Male to supply big and tall men’s apparel through Bon-Ton’s e-commerce site and, beginning next spring, in a limited number of Bon-Ton’s 277 department stores.
With the new alliance, Bon-Ton will expand the size and scope of its big and tall offerings, which will include sportswear, activewear, tailored clothing and accessories. A Bon-Ton spokeswoman said the availability of big and tall men’s wear will be flagged on Bon-Ton’s Web site, at bonton.com, but not the Casual Male association.
David Levin, president and chief executive officer of Casual Male, based in Canton, Mass., said the relationship “expands our product offering into a new shopping channel. The arrangement will not only offer a meaningful merchandise assortment for Bon-Ton’s male big and tall customers, but will also give Casual Male exposure to Bon-Ton’s customers, who are typically female.”
Bud Bergren, president and ceo of York, Pa.-based Bon-Ton, said Casual Male’s “dominant position in this important niche market will allow us to offer our customers hard-to-find sizes in a wide variety of basic casualwear and sportswear.”
Men’s wear accounted for 12.3 percent of Bon-Ton’s sales during the 2009 fiscal year, or about $364 million of its $2.96 billion total. The percentage of men’s wear attributable to big and tall sizes wasn’t immediately available.
Casual Male, which last month launched a new superstore concept called Destination XL, in fiscal 2009 had sales of $395.2 million. In its annual report for the year, the company said that estimates of the size of the big and tall market range between $5.5 billion and $6 billion. It approximated its share of the market to be 7.7 percent but said it believes it has the potential to reach 12 percent penetration. It operates a total of 464 units under the names Casual Male XL, Destination XL and Rochester Clothing, making it the largest specialty retailer of big and tall men’s wear in the U.S.