August 20, 2008, 12:00 AM

Casual Male chats up young and large men online

Casual Male Retail Group Inc. is looking to have good conversations with big, young men -- online. The e-retailer of apparel for large men has launched a social networking site called BoldXL targeting men 18 to 24 years old.

Casual Male Retail Group Inc. is looking to have good conversations with big, young men -- online. The e-retailer of apparel for large men has launched a social networking site called BoldXL targeting 18-24 year-old males.

The retailer, No. 254 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, worked with vendor Planet Propaganda to design the new social community at BoldXL.com. Visitors to the community can share stories about being big and tall, exchange fashion tips and chat about their favorite trends. Community members also can purchase clothes and shoes from the hub by linking through to ShopBoldXL. Today’s homepage features an eight-minute cartoon YouTube video “The Wrestlers New Clothes,” an article about the problems big men have with coach airline seats and a report on extra-large caskets.

“With millions of people spending significant amounts of their time online every day, it makes perfect sense for us to provide the big and tall niche with an open forum to share stories and interact with their peers in a way that was previously unavailable to them,” says David Levin, president and CEO of Casual Male Retail Group. “Currently, a growing number of our customers fall into the 18-24 age bracket and with the launch of BoldXL, we will have another medium to reach this younger demographic, further expanding our customer base.”

Prior to the launch, Casual Male polled its existing 18 to 24- year-old customers about their thoughts on social networking. 84% said they participate in at least one social networking site and more than half said they would contribute to an online social network with individuals in the same age bracket who are big and tall -- like themselves.

“We put a lot of time and research into this initiative to guarantee there is an appetite for this online community amongst a younger demographic,” Levin says. “We received an overwhelming response from our existing customers.”

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