Old Navy has taken some hits in the last year including being accused of photoshopping thigh gaps in their images of plus size jeans and a petition from one customer who was not happy to be paying higher prices on plus size clothing whereas big and tall men’s sizes were the same price as the regular men’s sizes.
Plus size female customers have often complained that Old Navy’s fit was inconsistent and their lack of using plus size models wearing their clothing on their website wasn’t exactly helping the situation. Add to that fact that the retailer no longer sells plus sizes in their brick and mortar stores and it became a recipe for disaster. Frankly, customers were pretty pissed off and voiced their discontent at Old Navy making them feel like the retailer didn’t care about them.
Old Navy responded by saying last November that they would communicate better with their customers and listen more when it comes to fit, styles and assortment. That included the company creating a customer panel that would meet four times a year to discuss plus-size fashion and product feedback. This was scheduled to happen in January 2015.
There has been no fanfare around it but one thing we did notice was that there are now plus size models on their website, modeling clothing instead of the mannequins they have been using for years. They have used plus size models in campaigns before but have stuck to using mannequins when it came to showing actual products.
The models are Ivana Fields (signed to Ford Models) and Whitney Wells (signed to Wilhelmina). While they are not shown across the board modeling every single item, it seems as if Old Navy is giving this a small run to see the response. Therefore, the mannequins are still there alongside Ivana and Whitney.
Is this a sign of change for the retailer? Is it a step in the right direction?
We hope it is. Maybe, just maybe Old Navy will expand and use more plus size models of different sizes and shapes to truly show the fit of their clothing. While the prices still remain higher than the regular women’s sizes, this small move is one that we hope translates into bigger changes for the retailer, where they treat ALL their customers with respect and appreciation. They’re one of the few major retailers to offer up to a size 30 and 4x in basics, activewear and other key pieces so there is an opportunity here to gain more customers. We hope Old Navy is really listening and taking notes.
What do you think of Old Navy? Please leave us a comment below and let us know.