Retail Dogma

Size Run

A size run is all the sizes a particular product is being manufactured in. For example, a fashion item could have a size run from S to XL; a footwear item could have a size run from 36 to 40, and a bra could have a size run from 34A to 42F.

When you say this product is available in a “full size run” you mean all the sizes of this product are available for sale and no size is out-of-stock. So for the fashion item we mentioned here, this would mean sizes S, M, L and XL are available and no size is missing.

The opposite of full size run is broken sizes.

Do I Have To Carry The Full Size Run?

Size Run on the size curve

Carrying the full size run or opting only for a portion of it is a business decision you have to make as a buyer.

After all, the money you will invest in a certain size will not be allocated to another size. This would mean you buy a less popular size instead of the best selling sizes.

To make such a decision, a lot of factors are taken into considerations.

These factors include:

  • Depth vs Breadth Assortment Strategy: Your business might be following a low depth strategy, and in this case you might opt for carrying only the best selling sizes in the middle of the curve and leaving out the extreme (small or large) sizes. The remaining of the budget is then allocated towards more styles (high breadth) for more variety
  • Visual Merchandising Standards: Your store might be small in size, and in order to display the full size run of each product the space will not suffice. In this case you can opt for limited sizes.
  • Buying Budget: Your buying budget for some seasons could be very limited, due to unsold merchandise still remaining in the business. In order to maximize the variety of items you can buy for this season, you might need to opt for limited sizes only.

If you opt for limited size options, you typically carry the sizes in the middle of the size curve and leave out the extreme sizes (e.g X-small and XX-Large). However; you might find that you are in a market that is more skewed towards smaller or bigger sizes, and in this case you can shift your range to start or end at the extremes.

For example, if you are operating in a plus size market, you can start at Medium and end at XXL and leave out Small and X Small.

It all depends on your size curve analysis and planning.

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