Mainstreaming the plus-sized consumer

From a recent RetailWire discussion, here is my comment about whether some apparel chains continue to turn away larger consumers (and their dollars) for a variety of reasons:

It’s apparent from comments by a few thoughtless CEOs (A&F and Lululemon come to mind) that their own personal discomfort with plus-sized customers is affecting their assortment decisions. The same thought process seemed to happen at JCP during the Ron Johnson era, when the company made a sharp turn toward younger/thinner customers as part of its repositioning strategy. (And we know how that worked out.) Meanwhile, consumers continue to get older, more ethnically diverse and — yes — heavier. Any apparel retailers aiming at a broad demographic target ignore this trend at their own risk.

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