Old Navy (NYSE: GPS), owned by Gap Inc., is set to launch its ‘Bodequality’ initiative this Friday in an effort to become size inclusive. The company revealed the action Wednesday and highlighted that it will be “the first value retailer to offer sizes 0-30 and XS-4X for all women’s styles” with no price change.
“We saw an opportunity to meaningfully change the women’s shopping experience by making it more inclusive regardless of size,” Old Navy president and CEO Nancy Green said in a statement. “BODEQUALITY is not a one-time campaign, but a full transformation of our business in service to our customers based on years of working closely with them to research their needs.”
According to Old Navy’s top executive, Sonia Syngal, in 2018 she told the merchandising team to reevaluate the company’s plus-size division. Though the brand has sold plus-size clothes, including sizes 16 and above since 2004, the items were kept in separate areas of the store as well as the website. Previously, Old Navy charged more for the clothing as it claimed that it cost more to make, ultimately causing a lot of backlash.
“I want you to figure out plus,” Alison Partridge Stickney, the retailer’s head of women’s merchandising, said in recounting her conversation with Syngal. “It made sense. The market data tells you there’s this opportunity. Obviously, we were missing something.”
Now Old Navy has revamped its plus-size strategy and strives to break into the USD32 Billion U.S. plus-size market. From now on, the company will have one team designing and creating all women’s apparel, with all styles also available in plus sizes. Additionally, there will no longer be a separate plus-size section, instead all women’s fashion will be placed together.
“We knew this wasn’t a quick fix,” Stickney said. “We couldn’t fix this with a rack of clothes in stores or adding another few styles. It had to be a top-to-bottom change in the way we work.”