Mega-retailer Old Navy was recently called on the carpet for charging extra for women’s plus-size jeans, but not for men’s larger sizes. However, according to Retail Dive on Nov. 24, Old Navy will be revisiting their policies in an attempt to make some positive changes for its plus-size customers.
The discrepancy came to light when a Change.org petition was launched challenging Old Navy’s plus-size policies, a petition that eventually boasted 95,000 signatures. The complaint was that a pair of jeans at the retailer could cost up to $15 more for a women’s plus-size, where men’s jeans cost the same no matter what size they were.
Old Navy originally countered with the argument that women’s jeans have more style, that they take more to manufacture, get the right fit, et cetera. But Old Navy did hear the public outcry, at least a little bit.
One change Old Navy is making is that, as of Dec. 5, you will be able to return your online plus-size purchase in stores. This will make shopping at Old Navy for plus-size clothing more attractive in that the customer doesn’t have the inconvenience of sending it back if it doesn’t fit right.
But the problem remains that there is nothing in an Old Navy store to exchange it for. As of right now, women’s plus-size clothing is only available online. Some things in the store are available up to a size XXL, but that equates roughly to a size 18-20. If you need a larger size, you have to shop on the website.
Will this be remedied any time soon? Nobody knows; however, Old Navy has announced that it will set up four meetings with its customers to discuss its policies on plus-size garments, including the possibility of putting them in the stores.
Earlier this year, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi caused a stir in the clothing industry by declaring that both designers and retailers should forgo specialty sizes altogether, as they can be demeaning to customers. “If you’re going to do clothes, you need to do them in a whole size range.” Mizrahi currently markets a very popular line of clothing on QVC, most of which is available in sizes XXS through 3X.
Edie Kissko, a spokeswoman for Old Navy stated, “We will do a better job communicating the value we provide to plus-size customers and begin forging a stronger relationship with customers. Clothes are meant to be empowering, flattering and a way to express your personal style. Old Navy is proud of the clothes that we create for fashion-forward women of all sizes.”
They may be proud of those clothes, but they seem embarrassed to put them in their stores. Old Navy needs to learn something that many other retailers have learned, that plus-size dollars are just as green as the dollars belonging to those who wear sizes 6 through 16.
QUOTE SOURCE: Bloomberg.com