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Inclusivity (Slowly) Makes Its Mark in Retail

Retail is coming around to showcase its extended clothing sizes in-store and online.

Patricia DeLuca

August 27, 2021

2 Min Read
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Back in 2019, License Global wrote how inclusivity in apparel was crucial for retailers to survive. While we had no idea what was in front of us, it looks like some companies are listening to customers' pleas for visibility at brick-and-mortar stores as more people feel comfortable shopping off-line. 

Recently, Old Navy announced it would no longer have a plus-size section at its stores. No longer an online-only option, Old Navy's BODEQUALITY initiative displays all of its women's styles ranging from 0-30 and XS-4X together with no price difference at all locations.

"We saw an opportunity to meaningfully change the women's shopping experience by making it more inclusive regardless of size," says Nancy Green, president, chief executive officer, Old Navy. "BODEQUALITY is not a one-time campaign, but a full transformation of our business in service to our customers based on years of working closely with them to research their needs. I'm proud of the collaboration across our Old Navy teams to evolve the retail experience for women."

Some retailers are slowly adding extended sizing to their floors in 2021. Mango first introduced Violeta, its extended size line, in 2014, but it's now part of the entire Mango apparel line. However, the addition of more sizing in retail has some companies struggling. 

In 2020, Victoria's Secret announced it was going to extend its lingerie to include plus sizes. Its newfound inclusion was in response to new competitors like Fenty x Savage and Thirdlove, brands that embraced extended sizing in their apparel and advertising. In June, Victoria's Secret announced two new partnerships, The VS Collective and The Victoria's Secret Global Fund for Women's Cancers, designed to impact women's lives positively. 

If there are retailers still on the fence about adding more inclusive sizing, look to Torrid. Launched in 2001, the women's apparel brand carries sizes 10-30 (including licensed apparel). This year, the company had its initial public offering with Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs & Co. and others, as joint lead book-running managers for the offering. Torrid is on the New York Stock Exchange – under CURV.

About the Author(s)

Patricia DeLuca

Senior Managing Editor, License Global

Patricia DeLuca currently serves as License Global's Senior Managing Editor.

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