This morning- I was listening to the podcast Snacks Minute which stated that although American Eagle stock had dropped by 2%- their sister company Aerie had grown by 26% this quarter and for the last TWENTY-ONE quarters have grown by double digit numbers- leading it to open 40 more stores across the nation.
This is a prime example of using a diverse platform for your business model, prioritizing comfort over size 2 bodies, and LISTENING to your customer base. According to research from Coresight, the plus-size market is expected to grow to $24 billion in the U.S. by 2020, with an annual growth rate about twice that of the total clothing market.
Recently the lingerie juggernaut Victoria Secret just sold off a majority of their company because of continually declining sales. After years of decreased viewership of their annual fashion show, controversy over “fantasy bodies”, and actively excluding the majority of female population- it has had a major hit in profits. While other more inclusive companies such as Aerie, SavagexFenty, ThirdLove, and AdoreMe have emerged as leading competitors that include all sizes, types, and forms of women.
This is prime example of leaving money on the table. Companies such as Victoria Secret, Gap, J. Crew used to be the head liners of fashion. Setting treads, and were prime targets for fashion- but as the market shifted to more inclusive sizing, more online presence- these stores were left where they started- in the 90’s.
Having more inclusive base doesn’t guarantee increase sales- they have to listen to the customer base. A recent study at New University of Minnesota highlighted that even if there are plus sizes- the standards are inconsistent form every major brand including Walmart, Kohl’s, and Target.
Taking that into consideration- Kohl’s has launched the EVRI Style Council with four highly influential content creators, Alex Michael May, Essie Golden, Natalie Drue, and Kristina Zias. Together they are creating collections that are 0x-4x, 14W-30W and all under $100.
This is a major move in the fashion industry where a company is not only adding more sizes- but actively seeking feedback and forming collections around what the plus size community wants.
The first collection is already out- you can check it out here! I went through all the pages- and I love what I’m seeing so far. There are COLORS, FABRICS, and PATTERNS which is what the plus size community has been yelling to get for years! I’m thrilled that a huge company has listened to what the plus size community has been saying for years and I’m extremely excited to see what is to come this year!
Have you checked out the new collections? What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite plus size company? Let me know your thoughts below!