Kmart ditches plus sizes for ‘fabulously sized’ clothing
Kmart wants female consumers to know that it is all about positive body image. That’s the message the mass merchant hopes is getting through with its decision to rename its plus-sized clothing sections as “fabulously sized”. It’s also behind the launch of Kmart’s new “I Can” ad campaign, which features confident women wearing the “amazing” fashions sold in the chain’s stores and on kmart.com.
Larger sizes already represent 22 percent of Kmart’s women’s clothing sales, according to a Forbes article, and consumers in this segment are among the most loyal to the retailer. Over 32 percent of Kmart shoppers buying larger sizes of women’s clothes shop the chain more than 11 times a year.
Kmart, which has seen its store count shrink to 482 locations, has struggled to gain sales traction. Same-store sales at the chain dropped more than nine percent in the most recent quarter.
In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Kelly Clark, chief marketing officer at Kmart, said the chain’s approach to merchandising “fabulously sized” clothing is based on the preferences of its customers. Younger women, for example, prefer items in their sizes to be integrated with smaller sizes. Older shoppers prefer that clothes in their sizes be set apart. The result is that Kmart is offering larger sizes in popular brands sold in its stores including Joe Boxer and Everlast. Basic Editions and Jaclyn Smith offer fashions for older women.
Ms. Cook said the response on social media to Kmart’s fabulously sized change has been positive. RetailWire’s review of posts on sites including Facebook found varying opinions on the change. Many did not seem to know about Kmart’s plan to integrate many of the larger sizes in with other clothes. Others who were critical accused the chain of engaging in political correctness and failing to be authentic in its messaging.
- Kmart “I Can” – YouTube
- Kmart Gives a Lift to Large Sizes – Women’s Wear Daily
- Kmart Is Renaming Its “Plus-Sized” Section “Fabulously Sized” – Cosmopolitan
- Kmart Ditches ‘Plus-Sized’ For ‘Fabulously Sized’ Amid Bold Expansion Of Larger Sizes – Forbes
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Kmart’s approach to marketing and merchandising “fabulously sized” women’s clothing prove successful?