Don’t put us in a corner: Why it’s important to have access to plus-size clothing in stores
With an oversized body, it can be difficult to find clothes that fit, keep up with trends and are age appropriate. This is even more true for anyone over a size 24. In store access to plus size clothing on size 24 almost looks like a mythical creature that you are lucky to discover almost by accident.
Why online-only options don’t work
What normal-sized people may not realize is that online-only availability offers its own set of challenges. Dimensions must be extremely consistent for customers to trust online ordering. First, they must be able to build brand loyalty, unless they feel comfortable having the ability to return everything they bought.
There are no standard sizes for women’s clothing between brands or even between items within a brand, which makes ordering online every time a gamble.
Not only that, large sized people have to plan their whole life in advance. No last minute interviews, dinners, events, not even funerals. When travelingIt would be a nightmare if an airline misplaced your luggage as finding plus-size clothing in the store at your destination is not a guarantee.
In an online-only world, you have to wait 1-3 weeks to receive your order. And again, make sure they fit when they arrive!
Brands that have “tried” to expand
When larger sizes are available in the store, often marketing is not enough. For example, SMALL APARTMENT and the old Navy. LOFT has removed sizes above 18 as of fall 2021. old navy removed all 4X sizes from stores after less than a year of their “BodEquality” campaign.
Old Navy has also created store “levels” that allow some stores to not sell any plus sizes in-store, only selling their “core sizes”. Both of these brands are a great example of why marketing is so important because many plus size shoppers only know about their size expansions after they’ve disappeared. completely.
Brands trying to scale in-store often don’t have enough time to convert oversized customers before pulling them out of the store. To take on something like this, the entire company culture needs to change and reflect the inclusiveness you want in your stores.
Customers you need to win will remember when the store doesn’t sell plus sizes and don’t want to trust that they’ll stay. It takes time to build a loyal new base of large-scale customers.
Let’s talk about statistics!
One thing that is unique to the fashion world is how many clothes are made for people who are below average sizes. Just about 20% of the apparel market is geared towards plus size women even though 70% of US women have at least a size 16 (Christel et al. 2017).
Because this has been a problem for many years, it is extremely common for plus-size women not to enter a store where they are not 100% certain they will sell their correct size. Normal sized people don’t have this hesitation as it is assumed that all stores are their size and history will support that assumption. This is why marketing to plus size people is one of the most important components of creating a plus size line.
Excluding oversized customers is unreasonable. According to the global plus size clothing market report, the market is valued at $480,991.8 million in 2019 and is expected to reach $696,712.1 million in 2027, recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9% from 2021 to 2027.
In 2019, the plus size casual clothing segment accounted for the highest share of the plus size clothing market. However, brands continue to ostracize their biggest total revenue customers for completely arbitrary reasons.
While it takes time, effort, research and dedication to truly commit and embrace size, that’s where the fashion world comes in. demand where to be. Clothing is a basic human need and the fact that such a large part of the population has to jump through hoops to get to this need is unacceptable in 2023.
Are we alone here? Will you repeat our feelings? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!