What size sells the fastest?

June 26, 1997

By Teri Johnson

Staff Writer

Do all those sighs mean you can't find your size?

It may be because so many people are seeking the same numbers you are.

Here's a sampling of some of the fastest-selling sizes in the Tri-State area:


Jeff Schwaninger, senior merchandising manager for JCPenney in Hagerstown, says women like a looser, roomier fit for casual activity.

"A good portion of the population is a little bottom heavy," says Schwaninger, who does the buying for women's clothing in misses, petites, plus sizes, juniors and maternity.


The most popular sizes for women at JCPenney in Hagerstown are:

- 14 for career wear bottoms, including skirts and dress pants

- 16 for casual wear bottoms, including pants, skirts and jeans

- 12 and 14 for career wear blouses

- 12 and 14 for dresses

- medium for casual tops

- 8, 10 and 12 for swimsuits

- 8 for shoes

One reason that more smaller swimsuits are sold may be because women wearing those sizes tend to buy more than one suit, Schwaninger says.

The top shoe seller at the Hagerstown store is the skimmer, a flat shoe without a heel, says Alan Grove, shoe department manager.

It's color, not size, that catches a shopper's eye, says Carl Williams, soft lines manager at Kmart in Martinsburg, W.Va.

The top-selling sizes at that store are:

- 12 for misses dresses

- 7 for juniors dresses

- 12 and 14 for jeans

- medium for blouses

- 12 for misses dress pants

- 7 for juniors dress pants

- 7 and 7 1/2 for shoes

Shoe sizes that move slowest during sales are 5, 5 1/2 and 6, says William Mason, shoe mart manager at Kmart in Martinsburg.


A 40 regular used to be the best-selling suit size, but the bigger sizes are selling better now, says Frank Fearnow, president of Ingram's Men's Shop in Hagerstown.

"I see guys that were 42 regular starting to move up the line," Fearnow says.

Best-selling sizes at Ingram's are:

- 42 and 44 regular for suits

- 16 and 16 1/2 neck, 33 sleeve for dress shirts

- 36 and 38 waist for dress slacks

- large for casual shirts

- 9 1/2 and 10 for shoes

Thirty-five percent of Ingram's store is devoted to selling clothing for big and tall men, Fearnow says.

"When a big and tall guy comes in and sees a medium shirt, he can almost always find the same thing in a big and tall size," Fearnow says.

The best-selling big and tall sizes at Ingram's are:

- 50 and 52 regular portly in suits

- 18 1/2 neck, 35 sleeve in dress shirts

- 46 and 48 waist in dress slacks

- 2X big, XL tall and 2XL tall in casual shirts

Bill Burnette, senior merchandising manager for men's clothing and athletic shoes at JCPenney in Hagerstown, says larger sizes sell well at that store.

The most popular men's sizes at JCPenney are:

- 44 and 46 regular for suits

- 36 and 38 waist for dress slacks

- 34 and 36 waist for jeans

- 16 and 16 1/2 neck, 33 and 34 sleeve for dress shirts

- large for casual shirts

- 10 1/2 for shoes

At Kmart in Martinsburg, these sizes move quickest:

- 32 to 36 waist for dress slacks

- 32 to 36 waist in jeans

- 16 neck in dress shirts

- medium in casual shirts

- 9 to 10 1/2 in shoes

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