• Tue, Aug 10 2010

UK Department Store Harrod’s Closes Plus Size Department

UK megastore Harrod’s has shut down their plus size clothing department. British plus size fashion brand Anna Scholz announced the news yesterday, informing fans that their clothing would no longer be available at Harrod’s. This is going to make life harder for plus sized women in the UK, as another popular chain, Selfridge’s, stopped selling plus size clothes a few years ago. Anna Scholz didn’t hold back on their official blog:

I am wondering if our high-end department stores don’t value their plus-size customer. It seems like madness to exclude 47% of the population from the opportunity to spend money in your store. This customer not only buys clothes but accessories, perfume, cosmetics…take away clothes and you alienate them on all levels. Every woman deserves to have choice and to dress fashionably!

Not only is 47 percent of the population of Great Britain considered plus size, almost one-fourth of Brits are medically obese. If anything, this seems like exactly the right time to offer more options for plus sizes in the UK.

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  • Eileen

    I wonder how well it sold. That’s always my first question when I hear that a store is not offering plus size clothing, because no store is going to want to carry a product no one buys. I used to work for a retail clothing store that didn’t carry larger than a 14 and rarely larger than a 12, although the company sells larger sizes online. At clearance time, we’d always be out of the middle sizes, have one or two of the small sizes, and have the entire stock of 12/14 left – and we often couldn’t even get rid of them at clearance prices. For whatever reason, people just did not buy the larger sizes, so there wasn’t much incentive to keep them around, even though plenty of women around the area are plus size.

  • Kate

    Eileen, did you ever think that maybe no one buys those 12/14s because the women who would buy those things don’t feel welcome in your store? If the store rarely carries anything larger than a 12 (in the US, 14 is average), then it sends across the message that they don’t serve larger sizes. And, that’s probably evident in the people who work there and shop there. There are stores I know I can shop at, but never do because they’re “skinny” stores (I’m a size 8 US, BTW).

    Point is, if you want a product to move you have to actually sell it–not alienate an entire customer base and then blame them for not buying.

    • Eileen

      Point taken. I would like to add, though, that there were women of all sizes working in the store, and if we didn’t have an item in a particular size we were instructed always to call over to the other stores in our chain or mention that while we didn’t carry that size yet, we would like to, and it was available online.