I’m a bit late to the news that H&M is removing most of its retail plus-size sections, so forgive my redundancy on the matter. As a body positive fashion & travel blog, I feel like I cannot not talk about this.
Though the majority of women in the USA are plus size we are still labeled “fashion concepts” by H&M. Like my clothing size is a mere concept. Like I dreamt up the fact that I have to shop in the plus size for many items (especially bottoms). The international chain has decided to eliminate plus size clothing or a “fashion concept” from all of its NYC stores and many more nationally.
According to various media outlets including in an article in Cosmopolitan UK by Jess Edwards, H&M said:
“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.”
It was in NYC that I first perused a plus size section at an H&M store in the USA. This was years after I shopped the plus size department of an H&M in Berlin. I guess I would expect this in smaller cities (like the one I live in, Pittsburgh) where customers are more often over-looked, but in NYC a shopping capital in the United States it’s backward.
But wait, maybe I’m not a customer. Instead I should liken the term “fashion concept” to who I am and what I wear.
A quick Google search told me that NYC has a population of more than 8.5 million and has over 50 million tourists a year. Over 50% of the world population are women AND the average size for women in the USA is now a 16/18. I find it impossible that there isn’t a plus-size retail market for H&M in NYC. I mean, seriously?
I live in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) where our plus size department in one lonely H&M has also gone kaput. I’m not surprised, the section was tiny with a very limited selection. I’m sure the business would have been better if it even closely resembled the straight sizes.
Needless to say, I’m disappointed. At least H&M has an online store that carries plus sizes. I’m just sick of having to be grateful for a slivers of fashion accessibility.
NYC plus-size business I will be supporting:
I used to go to NYC a few times a year, so I’m long overdue for a visit. I’m excited to visit these plus size stores the next time I’m in NYC (some are by appoint only): Hey Gorgeous, Monif C, & Rue 107. I haven’t visited Hey Gorgeous, Monif C, or Rue 107 physical locations yet, but really love their online stores. Can you suggest other plus size businesses to me?