Retailers tailoring to a growing America

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's an industry historically known for super-thin models, but a steadily growing America has the fashion industry upsizing. "There are really very few alternatives for a plus size to wear fashion forward merchandise," said kris Hoepfner, manager of Lufkin's Target.

Target's new plus-size teen line, "Pure Energy" will launch by the end of May. "Whether they're plus size or not, because I know it's hard for me to find clothes sometimes so I can imagine how it's hard for them to find clothes," said Amber Duckworth, Lufkin shopper.

As America's weight spectrum continues to broaden, retailers striked while the iron's hot. "Retailers are responding to a public demand and unfortunately kids who are overweight and in some cases obese," said Tim Scallon, dietician.

Since 1980 the rate of obesity among adolescents has more than tripled. Scallon said it is great plus-size teens have more clothing options, but health options are being overlooked.

"We're making clothes options, but we're also making food choices and and this is the point that parents need to drive home: the choices that I make impact my health," said Scallon.

No matter the size, many people believe teens should be able to choose what they want to wear.  "They got a thing about wanting to look like everybody, so that would be good for them, give them confidence," said Linda Harper, Lufkin shopper.

Not all are pleased with the supersizing of teen clothing.

"Teens need to slim down a little bit because America is basically eating itself," said Garry Wood, concerned with teens' growing waistlines.

Teenage girls said they just want to have fun shopping with their friends. "I'd love to not have to go to different stores, shopping at one place makes it less separate," said Darlin Lebel, high school student.