Curve

Torrid's hot IPO: how the plus-size retailer is tapping into a major, underserved market

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

All about that CURV... Torrid is the largest direct-to-consumer brand of women’s plus-size clothing in North America. You might remember it as a sub-brand of Hot Topic (RIP studded belts). Six years after breaking up with checkered skinny jeans, Torrid has its own hot topic: a successful IPO. Torrid stock has jumped 15% since its NYSE debut last week — ticker symbol: CURV.

  • The profile: Torrid defines its style as "unapologetically youthful and sexy," and is "maniacally" focused on fit.
  • The numbers: Nearly $1B in sales last year, and it's profitable. But its profit has been roughly halving each year since 2018.
  • The source: Online sales made up 70% of Torrid's revenue last year while its 600+ stores were temporarily closed.

Don't curve your enthusiasm... The plus-sized market is significant, and it's growing. In the US, it serves a whopping 90M women wearing sizes 10 and up. Torrid says many brands treat plus-size customers as an afterthought, which is why the market has been underserved. Torrid's biggest strength: putting that customer base front-and-center.

THE TAKEAWAY

Torrid turned fit into a brand... and won strong customer loyalty. 78% of plus-size women say they would spend more on clothes if they had more options available in their size. Urban Outfitter's blind spot is Torrid's super power: Last year, Torrid had an 82% customer retention rate. By dedicating itself to the needs of a broad, unsaturated market, Torrid is tapping into a key opportunity.