LivingXL: Home Style Catalog Targets plus-size Market

Filed under: Home style, Stores

Where do you turn when you need products that not only look nice, but can also support some extra weight? LivingXL, a new home furnishings catalog, hopes to be the answer -- providing products such as lawn chairs that can support "up to 800lbs," and and toilet seats that are "larger than any other toilet seat in the world."

While these considerations are often overlooked by mainstream retailers, for some people, it's a serious concern.

Take Peggy Howell, for instance, a 300-pound woman interviewed by Forbes in connection to LivingXL's recent launch. Whenever she and her sister go to a party or event, they have to "take [their] own special collapsible lawn chairs," in order to "feel secure in them, and comfortable."

With the US population becoming increasingly obese (over 2/3 of Americans are now thought to be overweight or obese, compared with half in the 1970s), the plus-sized market is growing, and, at the moment, there's very little competition. In fact, while there's a few clothing manufacturers, LivingXL is the first catalog devoted entirely to home furnishings for overweight and obese people.

The current version is very straightforward, with little marketing flare. However, analysts suspect that, as this trend catches hold, it will only become more sophisticated. I suspect this may be like the organic food industry, which -- as recently as 15 years ago -- was almost completely unheard of, but is now so prevalent in everyday life, it's hard to imagine what life would be like without it.
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