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Ann Taylor Cites Lack of Demand to Cut Plus Sizes Out

Another loss for the plus size woman. Ann Taylor announced yesterday that they would remove all size 16s and higher from their physical stores, banished to online only. Ann Taylor would have us to believe that the lack of demand the reason for its announcement yesterday that they are eliminating size 16s from its stores. Really?

According to an Ann Taylor representative, low demand for the size in both brands is the reason, but some beg to differ. Citing costs for patterns and production, some experts believe this is the real reason behind this cut.

Sad Move: Ann Taylor Brings 16+ Online Only

Ann Taylor now joins the group of retailers who have once again banished its plus size options to the internet. Banana Republic, J. Crew, Gap, and Old Navy are all retailers who have abolished plus sizes within its store and now relegate it to online only.

If over 60% of the female population is sized 14 or better, why are the mainstream retailers not listening?

Is it really demand that has Ann Taylor ceasing its plus size options within stores? According to an article in Crain’s New York Business online, the retailer is “closing more than 160 stores, suffered a net loss of $334 million last year, and saw its revenue shrink by 9%. In January, Ann Taylor reported double-digit same-store sales declines for the fourth quarter of 2008 in both divisions.”

It is unfortunate that this is happening and that the plus size woman has to, yet again, be another scapegoat. However, if sales continue to decline, do you think that they will realize, size had nothing to do with it?

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Written by Marie Denee

I am the Editor in Chic of The Curvy Fashionista. Often goofy. Forever emo. Always a Virgo. You can find me somewhere grooving to 90s R&B.

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  1. I think a smarter move would have been to up sizes, hell at least to a 22. I think a lot of times retailers like this miss out b/c many curvy girls bypass them, like how do you know they have your size???

    I think retailers should take the lane bryant approach and put their sizes dead on the door- size 0-22, I mean at least you know.

    Thanks for the info, you are the curvy girls cnn when it comes to fashion!
    Prissi

  2. OK I know this is not going to be a popular view point here, but I happen to believe them. I work as a fashion designer and can honestly say that our industry has been hit especially hard by this economy and facing layoffs left and right. Nobody would cancel a line that is profitable in this economy. We actually wrote about this misconception recently.
    http://www.39thandbroadway.com/fashions-plus-size-dilemma/

    I also wanted to see if you ladies heard about American Apparels foray into plus size? But for men only..hmmm..now that one seems a bit suspicious too me. The younger womens/juniors market, is actually doing ok in the plus size divisions and womens almost always is more profitable then mens?

  3. LAME. I have a feeling declining sales have more to do with their prices than lack of demand. Plus sized women in their age demographic is one of the largest demographics in the US right now.

    Although, if any of you are regular online shoppers you know that most online stores are sending out coupons til they’re blue in the face in an effort to garner sales. Perhaps Ann Taylor believes they can better (cheaper) reach out to people and get more sales that way?? Offering something like free shipping doesn’t cost them that much and the average customer will spend a lot with such an offer.

  4. I find it hard to believe Ann Taylor couldn’t sell its larger sizes. I have been an A.T. devotee for over 15 years, but I had given up after going from a size 6/8 to a 12/14. They just didn’t have much in 12s or 14s. I can occasionally find a 14 at Ann Taylor loft and they seem to fit me. I have never seen a 16 in the store – at least in my town.

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