While other retailers have yet to capitalize on the growing plus size market, according to WWD, Penney’s is making a plus size push by launching an “elevated shopping experience” with more contemporary clothing options ranging in size from 14W to 24W, and 1X to 3X. Online the clothing sizes will range a few sizes bigger.
Instead of providing plus size options solely online like other retailers, J.C. Penney doesn’t want their customers to lose that in-store shopping feeling.
“There’s a lot of dissatisfaction. They’re not finding clothes that fit them, and in particular younger women don’t feel like they can find clothes that suit their style,” said Siiri Dougherty, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s apparel. “She wants a place dedicated for her, a special environment and more modern merchandise. And she doesn’t want to be disconnected from the rest of the store.”
Photo: Courtesy Worthington“The Boutique” will include not only apparel for day to day, but also apparel for the gym, denim, social occasions and will include some cross-merchandising with accessories. The size of the boutique will vary from store to store, but will include Penney’s own brands plus other brands such as Levi’s and Bisou Bisou, whose plus size options have only been available online in the past.There will also be brands known for their plus size options such as Worthington Liz Claiborne and Stylus.
The plus size section of the store’s website will also be changed to “The Boutique” in anticipation for the launch in 12 stores nationwide on October 9.
Stylish and affordable plus size clothing has been a major issue for shoppers who cringe at going to department stores. Stars such as Melissa McCarthy and Rebel Wilson have spoken out about the lack of clothing diversity, and have even launched their own clothing lines to combat the issue. However, J.C. Penney is taking a step in the right direction with its latest endeavor, and hopefully more retailers will follow suit.
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