This pandemic has done a number to retail and it seems that we have yet to see its full effect on plus size fashion. With Catherine’s being sold to City Chic, Lord & Taylor closing its doors and Addition Elle folding, it is a trying time. So, when we heard the news that Eloquii is closing ALL of their physical stores, this one hurt.
As soon as we just got our Eloquii location in Atlanta, the Rona taketh away. We had a moment to catch up with Eloquii CEO, Mariah Chase to gain a little more insight with this change…
- Advertisement -
We are so grateful to our loyal customers who continue to shop with us online, even after we closed our five retail locations due to COVID-19 back in March. Like many small businesses, we’ve spent the last few months adjusting to this new reality, and we decided to take ELOQUII back to its roots as an online only retailer.
While we will permanently close our five retail stores, we continue to invest in our business and will remain a fashion destination for women sizes 14-28 at ELOQUII.com and through our new rental service at ELOQUII Unlimited.
We are working with all affected associates to help them find their next opportunity, either at ELOQUII, one of our parent company’s brands or somewhere else as well as support them due to the economic uncertainty from this unprecedented pandemic. -Eloquii CEO, Mariah Chase
- Advertisement -
In an email and blog post on their Style & Substance blog, Eloquii shares the news:
While they are NOT closing the online site (amen), I do hope that this is a temporary thing for them.
What Eloquii Should Think About
I am not sure if you caught that they are going to help employees get placed. Good on them. But this leaves an even more progressive opportunity for them:
Eloquii, this is YOUR TIME to hire a few folks of color to your headquarters. A GREAT TIME. Your marketing, social media, design, and visuals team could definitely benefit here! Not only do you preserve morale, but you also help address community challenges to increase HQ diversity.
- Advertisement -
As folks try to strategically plan for 2021, this means that Eloquii has to be more visible than ever, offline.
Think: supporting plus size industry events, pop up shops, or their own hosted events. Eloquii, you have to be present.
This goes for all the other retailers.
If online is the only place we can experience you, you are going to have to make a strong offline effort as well.
This is so sad.
Especially as we are experiencing such a monumental exodus of plus size retailers to shop in person. When you look at where a plus size person can go and shop, the physical places are extremely limited.
Lane Bryant is closing a portion of their doors. Avenue moved to online only, and with the absence of Catherines and now Eloquii, where does one go?
We do have a few places to shop offline, but in comparison to mainstream fashion, the options are discouraging… if you only focus on those retailers…
Granted, many of us are still holing up at home, but after this all clears? Where does one shop, in person?
While there are still a handful of retailers we can visit, unfortunately, no experience is treated equally. One location can have a full presentation with plus size mannequins and amazing merchandising. While another location can be tucked away on two racks in the back.
As we have shared in past articles, this is why it is even more important to support our indie plus size businesses and brands. This means the plus size boutiques. The resell stores, fashion forward boutiques, and designers with showrooms.
Yes, they do exist.
The news of Eloquii shutting its physical stores hurts. BUT! We are working on something to help you navigate all of these changes…
The retail industry as a whole taking hits left and right. It was bound to takes its turn on the plus size fashion space. I just don’t like this.
As this does make us sad… we are a resource and community!
Please share with us where you shop offline, so that we can give them love!
It’s hard to make an impression with only five physical locations. I live in Houston and our Eloquii was in the Galleria Mall where I’m sure the rent was beyond sky high. The Galleria is just west of downtown and is very upscale–they’ve got a lot of designer stores (Louis Vuitton, Prada, etc) and only a handful of stores like Gap and Express that are more affordable. Based on Eloquii’s demographic and pricing, I think they might have lasted at a midrange suburban mall. The couple of times I went there, I noticed that they sold everything at retail price so the website was undercutting them. Women are not going to the mall to buy a shirt for double the price, especially since we usually have to buy everything online anyway. If you’re not going to match online prices, then you need to get more creative. Maybe have a capsule collection each season that’s an in-store exclusive. I’ve been following your site for almost 10 years now and I remember when Eloquii was an offshoot of The Limited. It just feels like plus retailers keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.