H&M No Longer Selling Plus Sizes in Stores
H&M has pulled its plus-size clothing line from many of its New York City stores. The story first broke when Revelist, an online news site aimed at millennial women, reported that it was tracking the items a few months ago. H&M responded to Revelist's inquiry by saying that it was removing plus-size items to make floor space for other product as the retailer expands into home goods, beauty and sportswear. The official statement reads:
“H&M’s product range has grown in the past few years, with e.g. an extended sports offering, a new beauty assortment and our interior concept H&M Home. This means not all stores have room for all our fashion concepts. The assortment in the stores is evolving as we continuously assess the product mix, which is decided by each store’s specific pre-requisites when it comes to e.g. its size and the customers’ requests. We refer customers to our online store hm.com, which includes all our fashion concepts, and a broader assortment.”
Total Retail's Take: H&M is sending some mixed messaging. The underserved plus-size market is on the rise in fashion right now, especially in the millennial demographic. Last year, the NPD Group found the plus-size market comprised 17 percent of the U.S. women's apparel market overall, increasing 5 percent in the year ending February 2015. Why H&M is choosing to isolate this segment of the market and not offer plus-size apparel in its stores is confusing. In addition, while the retailer was praised for its "groundbreaking" campaign featuring plus-sized supermodel Ashley Graham, its fine print read "will be sold exclusively on hm.com." Disappointing on many levels.