Retail Can't Ignore Plus Sizes Anymore
This week, Nordstrom announced they will be adding more sizes to their women's department. No more petites and plus size sections; you'll find what you need in one area, whether you're a size 0 or 18.To make this happen, Nordstrom is asking its retail brands to expand their size ranges "In our opinion, petite and plus sizes shouldn't be considered special categories," Tricia Smith, Nordstrom executive vice president and general merchandise manager for designer, women's and kids apparel, Nordstrom. "They're just sizes."
It's not just Nordstrom who is opening up its floor and mixing all sizes together. Target also is making its women section more inclusive, and you can find XS to XXL in one area (and, as a recent shopping excursion proved, accessories like hats, belts, and bags are all in the women's department now). Not to menion the recent uptick of curvy women in ads like Aerie, JCPenney and the aforementioned Target.
So, what is finally driving this change in retail? Social media. Namely, how consumers interact with brands on social media. We object when a retailer leaves out sizes beyond a size 10, but support curvy models who are blazing a path and building a strong following on Instagram. It's not a surprise those same models end up in retail ads. Retail marketers are paying attention.
Bravo tried to jump in the narrative this week with the article, "This Is How Khloe Kardashian Inspired a Major Retailer to Become More Inclusive," but, somehow, it doesn't ring true. While Good American (a denim line ranging from 00-22) is profitable for both Kardashian and Nordstrom, it's doubtful that one line caused a big department store to rethink its business model. How does Good American factor in to Nordstrom's new store concept?
Kardashian isn't exactly known for her body positivity, but she understands the power of social media all too well. (Sidenote: Enough with the phrase "clap back" already.) Good American's size inclusivity is good for business.
Remember, this sea change in retail was caused by millions of people, not one person who made a million off of sales.