Meijer Ditches Plus-Size Department To Attract More Plus-Size Customers: Wait, What?

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

At a time when clothing retailers are fretting over their business, there’s one segment of the market where sales are actually increasing: plus-size women’s clothing. Discount store Meijer is taking advantage of this change, and is changing things so the plus-size department will go away, and sizes XS through XXXL will be on the same rack together.

The change has already rolled out in 15 of the chain’s stores, and will eventually reach the rest in early 2017. The company’s vice president of softlines (which includes clothes) explained to the Wall Street Journal that the company’s goal is to make sure that “all customers should have the exact same experience at Meijer,” and that larger clothes in the women’s department shouldn’t be stuffed in the back and only available in a few boring styles.

The average American woman wears a size 16 to 18 now, and retailers are spiffing up their plus-size departments or selections to catch their attention, since that’s the only part of the clothing market that is actually increasing sales right now.

Modcloth, an online retailer planning to open its first retail store soon, recently did the same thing as Meijer: instead of having a virtual plus-size section, the company simply put all of its items together. If an item isn’t available in a smaller or larger size range, then it simply doesn’t appear when a customer searches by size. JCPenney has pinned some of its hopes on a new brand and nicer offerings in its plus-size department.

To Lure Plus-Size Shoppers, One Retailer Will Scrap Plus-Size Department [Wall Street Journal]

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