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Social Media Backlash Forces Brands to Accept Size Diversity

Shoppers complaining about the lack of variety in its stores and advertising via social media led retailers to embrace plus-size campaigns, according to Adweek.

Since the advent of social media, shoppers who once felt ignored or overlooked by retailers now take to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to voice their opinions. They follow body-positive movements and bloggers who point them to retailers and e-commerce sites where they can find on-trend plus-size clothing. Social media has also helped curve models like Ashley Graham, Tess Holliday and Iskra Lawrence raise their profile.

Satisfying customers' needs has been lucrative to businesses who acted on the feedback. Aerie and its #AerieReal campaign featuring Lawrence stimulated parent company American Eagle Outfitters' growth by 4 percent last year. Lane Bryant and its #ImNoAngel and #PlusIsEqual campaigns were attributed to same-store sales increases of 6 percent.

Retailers reacting to customer concern is a nod to the adage "The Customer is Always Right." It also seems like a no-brainer for retailers to cater to a severely underserved demographic with spending power. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved. So what's holding other retailers back from embracing a plus-size clientele?



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