Has Old Navy charted a course for all retail to follow on plus-sizes?
Among the call-outs:
- Size and price equality: Old Navy said it has become the first value retailer to offer sizes 0-30 and XS-4X for all women’s styles with consistent pricing across the range. While Old Navy has been carrying plus sizes since 2004, sizes only ranged from zero to 18, or extra small to XXL in outlet sizing, according to WWD. Online, only about 30 percent of women’s apparel assortments were similarly available in plus-sizes.
- Size-integrated shopping: Every store will offer all women’s styles in sizes 0-28 merchandised together rather than in special plus-size sections. Online, Old Navy is merging its Women’s and Women’s Plus collections within the navigation menu.
- No “one-size fits all” mannequins: In stores, the retailer will showcase women’s clothes in sizes four, 12 and 18. Online, women’s styles will be showcased on models in the same sizes with a new toggle feature enabling shoppers to select their preferred default model display size.
- Reimagining plus-sized fit: Following interviews with hundreds about body image and related fashion concerns, Old Navy has reinvented its fit process and sizing standards using 389 3-D digital models of real women. Details include adjusting sleeve openings so bras won’t show.
- Major plus-size campaign: Saturday Night Live cast member and “Shrill” star Aidy Bryant has become the face of a BODEQUALITY campaign that will include a TV spot and social media content. The chain will support outreach with close to 500 placements in New York and Los Angeles and an open letter to “women everywhere” across social channels announcing Old Navy’s inclusive and integrated shopping experience.
The plus-size opportunity is still seen as significantly underserved with the cost of producing plus-size apparel often cited as a hurdle. NPD has found 70 percent of American women wear a size 14 or larger, yet less than 20 percent of apparel is made in those sizes.
Target, Nordstrom and Nike are among the retailers praised for their expanded plus-size offerings in recent years, but BODEQUALITY goes much further.
- Old Navy Democratizes the Shopping Experience for Women of All Sizes with BODEQUALITY – Gap Inc.
- Introducing BODEQUALITY – Gap Inc.
- Old Navy eliminates separate section for women’s plus-size clothing – Today
- Old Navy changing sizes for women’s clothes to make them more inclusive with ‘BODEQUALITY’ launch – USA Today
- Old Navy Redefines Inclusion Offering ‘Every Style in Every Size’ – WWD
- Old Navy to Normalise Plus-Size Apparel in Growth Push – Bloomberg
- Why hasn’t plus-sized apparel been an easy win for retail? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your assessment of Old Navy’s BODEQUALITY program? Do you see this as a standard that other retailers serving a mass customers base will or should follow?