Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I don't believe you redux eleven million.

In light of the recent Lane Bryant bullshit, (see a good wrap up here from Big Liberty) and this Ann Taylor photoshop Fail I spotted at Jezebel I have to say, I don't believe you retailers.

I also don't believe retailers who pull or don't offer plus sizes with excuses that vary from "but fat clothes take up so much room" and "we don't have a market"

Ahem.

Being that fashion is retail and retail is commerce and commerce is capitalism- it stands to reason in my mind that if one has a product and after maybe a little informal market research (read some Fat Fashion blogs Googles is your friend) oh hey, hey check it out.

Fat shoppers have money, I (as in the Big. Coporate. I) want that money.

If I were the money wanting company I would in fact bust my ass to be THE go to company for an entire market.

Take Old Navy for instance.

Given how many fatties have loved and depending on Old Navy, if Old Navy were to wise up they could make a proverbial killing.

Instead of making it 50% more difficult for a consumer to get your goods in a reliable fashion, if you made it as easy to get the specialized items, people would buy them.

Judging from how many people were (and are) pissed off about plus sizes being yanked from stores, about plus sizes being difficult to return or exchange, about stores (Oh HI TARGET), mysteriously having plus size lines then mysteriously not. If any of these companies would take the Blue pill and wise up, I am positive money would be made.

However, I think some of these stores are playing into the idea that they don't really want the fat demographic visible in their stores.

I will say at least American Apparel is up front about it.

Back to Ann Taylor here is the apology as posted at Jezebel:
We want to support and celebrate the natural beauty of women, and we apologize if in the process of retouching that was lost.

Okay let's take a second here.

This is the image that the Ann Taylor website glitch allowed some quick people to spot.

Photobucket

Now I am no graphic artist, my photoshop skills are um...not great BUT, is there anything about the retouched image that supports the idea that Ann Taylor accidentally got over excited with the retouching?

To be blunt I don't believe you.

I do not believe that there weren't at least seven people who saw that retouched shot before it went live and cringed.

Why are you Ann Taylor asking your imaging people to do that to photos, then posting them if you have any interest in "natural" anything?

Don't Front.

Stop bull shitting us.

Stop dicking around.

Stop it.

As retailers if you continue to only sort of half ass try to market to plus size consumers, your products will fail.

It's really quite simple.

I will offer for free a strategy I believe will net the monies.

Hello big retail chain.

Offer some plus sizes.

Make this "special" line at the very least 70-80% equivalent to what's available at a basic level for "regular" sizes.
Do not charge more than 50% extra for those things.
Put these items in your stores.
Advertise these items.
Insure that the stores that carry your name represent your brand.
Instruct stores to make damn sure the "special" sizes are easily found, not mixed in with maternity wear because they are not the same thing and available.
Rinse, repeat and make mother fucking money.

Bonus tips.

If you are known as a retailer for a certain style of clothing, (Lip Service I'm talking to you right now) do not make your "special" sizes a whole other animal. If a plus size consumer is coming to you because of the style of things you offer, if you don't offer that signature brand recognition style of clothing available in any "special" sizing lines, people are not going to run out and buy what you do offer.

Here's a clue, we get pissed off and tell other consumers not to shop with you.

So to sum up.

Dear Retailers and other purveryors of clothing, beauty items etc etc,
Stop fucking around. Don't say that you are for something when it's absolutely clear by your actions that you aren't.
Sincerely,
Shannon.

Okay Homo out.

I have stuff to take care of.

I love you guys.
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