Ever since the first store opened 24 years ago, Old Navy’s in-store apparel selection hasn’t gone beyond a size 20. But that’s all about to change as the retailer has just announced that it will be extending its plus-size section to include sizes ranging from 16 to 30 in 75 locations across the country.
The retailer’s effort to bring plus-sizes to mainstream fashion started back in 2004 but was discontinued in 2007 due to a lack of customer response and complaints about fit. Since then, plus sizes have only been available online.
“The most important thing when you’re building out a plus line and bringing it in stores is addressing all the pain points; we saw an opportunity to improve the plus collection and build a loyal customer in the online space before returning to the physical retail environment,” Old Navy Senior Vice President Loretta Choy said. “[W]e want to make sure we’re giving our customers the option of putting on a size 16 in the main line or putting a size 16 in plus,” she told Glamour, “which may look the same aesthetically but is constructed differently for a better fit—and understanding what’s best for her.”
While Old Navy may not have been successful in the past in finding the right plan to accommodate their plus-size customers, it’s clear that they are now making it a priority. “We’re really pacing ourselves because we want to do it right this time,” said Choi. “We always knew we wanted to get plus-size back into the stores—the product had to be right first. We don’t want to let our customers down.”
Here’s hoping the extended sizes will eventually roll out to all 1,106 locations.