Online, Old Navy’s women’s and women’s plus-size collections will be merged together in one navigation menu and Old Navy will use models in sizes four, 12 and 18.
Alison Partridge Stickney, head of women’s merchandising at Old Navy, said in an interview that the latest changes were the result of feedback from hundreds of customers who described a “dismal” and “excluded” experience of shopping in back sections of retail stores to find their size. Old Navy
“This is a big change in the way we work,” she said. “We had a team that managed our women’s business and a team that managed our plus business. So that meant merchandising, design, production.”
To offer all of its women’s clothing together, Old Navy created a single team managing the entire division.
The move makes financial sense for Old Navy, Stickney said, and “is one of the major pieces of the puzzle” to hit the brand’s goal of reaching $10 billion in annual sales by 2023, up from $7.5 billion in 2020.
Old Navy said that searches for “plus” on its websites were up 63% over the past year and pointed to data from NPD Group showing that the women’s plus-size apparel market was $20.4 billion in June.
“It is especially lucrative for a retailer like Old Navy which has a broad spectrum of consumers of all shapes and body types,” said Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail, in an email. “For Old Navy and other mainstream players, I think they see an opportunity for growth in a part of the market that they don’t serve too well.”
The overhaul comes with challenges, though.
To be able to keep prices down and the same across sizes, retailers need to be purchasing significant volumes of clothing, said Elizabeth Shobert, director of marketing and digital strategy at fashion analytics company StyleSage.
“It certainly helps to have a healthy business and scale to do sizing properly,” she said.