Athleta brand has expanded its size range to 1X to 3X, or sizes 18 to 26, across 350 styles in its collection.
For spring 2021, the company says 70% of the Athleta collection will reach 1X to 3X sizing.
The addition is part of the brand’s commitment to diversity, Athleta said in its announcement. By March, the extended sizing will apply to 500 styles. And by 2022, all categories will have extended sizes.
Athleta will sell these items across the store rather than in a “plus size” section. The brand’s 200 stores will also feature mannequins of various sizes, and sales associates will be trained to help customers across the size range.
“We see this extended sizing offering as a key pillar of our growth goals, allowing us to invite even more customers into our community,” said Mary Beth Laughton, chief executive of Athleta, in a statement.
Gap is adding to its size range across its portfolio of brands including Old Navy and the namesake label.
According to a report published this week by market intelligence platform Edited, larger sizes and “curvy” styles were more available in 2020 than 2019, up 11%.
Still, they made up just 12% of all the fashions offered, up from 11% in 2019.
“The Gen-Z consumer’s voice and purchasing power (a group that embraces their flaws and champions acceptance) will only grow stronger, making it more essential for retailers to underscore inclusivity,” the report said.
Aerie, the loungewear and underwear brand from American Eagle Outfitters Inc.
markets its goods to young consumers using photos that are unretouched, with models who have varying body types. American Eagle said Thursday that Aerie brand revenue rose in the high-20% range in the fourth quarter, and has set a $2 billion revenue goal by 2023.
“By leading the body-positivity movement, Aerie has stolen consumer mindshare from Victoria’s Secret and positioned itself for major share gains,” wrote UBS analysts in a note.
Victoria’s Secret is part of the L Brands Inc.
UBS rates American Eagle stock buy with a $29 price target, up $2.
Edited’s report shows that customers would prefer more positive vocabulary to refer to larger sizes, and that expanded sizing includes men’s clothing, tall sizes, maternity and petite.
Nonetheless, higher pricing for larger sizes is still the norm, with customers paying an average 13% more.
Pricing will be the same on all items, according to a Gap company spokesperson.
“[T]here is work to be done across all market sectors as the fashion industry is still skewed towards smaller sizes in products and advertising,” Edited’s report said.
“Not only does this risk alienating the next generation of consumers, average or above-average sized shoppers, which is the core demographic, are underserved. This means retailers may be walking away from a profit to uphold a distorted and outdated image standard.”
Gap’s stock has gained 25.3% over the past year while the S&P 500 index
is up 15.7% for the period.