Dave Barry’s Business Idea

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A friend sent me this funny story from Dave Barry about one of his business ideas. Like any good entrepreneur, he first observes consumer behavior.

When a man shops for clothes, his primary objective — follow me closely here — is to purchase clothes that fit on his particular body. A man will try on a pair of pants, and if those pants are too small, he'll try on a larger pair, and when he finds a pair that fits, he buys them. Most men do not spend a lot of time fretting about the size of their pants. Many men wear jeans with the size printed right on the back label, so that if you're standing behind a man in a supermarket line, you can read his waist and inseam size. A man could have, say, a 52-inch waist and a 30-inch inseam, and his label will proudly display this information, which is basically the same thing as having a sign that says: “Howdy! My butt is the size of a Federal Express truck!''

The situation is very different with women. When a woman shops for clothes, her primary objective is not to find clothes that fit her particular body.

She would like for that to be the case, but her primary objective is to purchase clothes that are the size she wore when she was 19 years old. This will be some arbitrary number such as ''8'' or ''10.'' Don't ask me ''8'' or ''10'' of what: That question has baffled scientists for centuries. All I know is that if a woman was a size 8 at age 19, she wants to be a size 8 now, and if a size 8 outfit does not fit her, she will not move on to a larger size: She can't! Her size is 8, dammit! So she will keep trying on size 8 items, and unless they start fitting her, she will become extremely unhappy.

Then, he uses his keen observations to develop a business model that satisfies consumers.

Here's how you could get rich: Start a women's clothing store called ''SIZE 2,'' in which all garments, including those that were originally intended to be restaurant awnings, had labels with the words ''SIZE 2.'' I bet you'd sell clothes like crazy.

Dave Barry – business genius.

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  1. Mike's Gravatar Comment by Mike on May 3rd, 2006 at 10:23 am

    Rob,

    There was a big dustup in various publications a couple of years back contending that the entire clothing industry had in fact done a version of “size inflation”, in which size 8 was the equivalent of the previous 12 (I don’t remember all the details). But the SIZE 2 concept IS pure genius!

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