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Old Navy announced last year that they would modify their women’s apparel sales to be more equal. They eliminated the petite and plus sizes and moved to show all sizes at once. They retrained staff to help customers of all sizes and create a welcoming environment. Old Navy announced that they are scaling back their Bodequality program a year after it was launched because of Gap’s earnings call.
Bodequality’s strategy to increase diversity at Old Navy failed when the items were unavailable in certain sizes, which led to retailers using price reduction to move inventory. Other retailers avoided losing business, but only because supply chain problems caused item stock to remain low and demand to remain high. Old Navy has declared that it will continue to sell extended sizes in some of their shops, despite the fact that they intend to remove them from others. Women who require specific sizes and want to try them on before purchasing will be disappointed by this news. In addition to getting it right, Universal Standard is another firm that has been getting it right. It began by designing for the most common size in women’s apparel, which is a size eighteen.
The company has streamlined its product development to make clothes for sizes 10-28. The company monitors the popularity of sizes and plans its inventory accordingly. While Old Navy, of course, has over a thousand stores nationwide in addition to its e-commerce business.
Old Navy’s digital presence will now be the primary method of distribution for its largest and smallest sizes, as well as its physical stores. The plus-size market is growing twice as fast as the entire apparel market in women’s clothing, and nearly 70% of women wear a size 16 or higher. The average American woman is 5’4″, so clothing manufacturers can find the right fit by excluding more than half of the potential customers.
What do you think of Old Navy’s new approach? Let us know down in the comments.