From July 30 - August 17, (previously online-only) ModCloth opened a pop-up, brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco, which was deemed a great success.
Plus size fashion retailers have been killing it online, but departement stores haven't been benefitting from the spike in sales. Changes are coming.
We all know the plus sized section of most big box retailers is hidden in the back catacombs of the store and usually carries a selection of ghastly, picked over, or out-of-stock fashions and the sales staff generally treat us like repellent ticks.
( Remind me to tell you the story of my experience at The Bay shoe shopping....the sales woman thought she was shoeing a Clydesdale)
It's no wonder, women sizes 14-24, weren't feeling the love for brick and mortar stores.
The online shopping experience offers a super abundance of variety. A great example of this is the successful plus brand, Eloquii. The website offers, trendy, high fashion clothing for plus size shoppers and has a cult following. (I'm a die-hard browser) However, the online experience is still lacking though, shoppers are missing out on the enjoyment of hands on customer service. Finding apparel online that fits properly takes alot of guesswork and can be extremely frustrating...I hate the game of "order roulette." Will it fit me? Will I have to send it back? Should I buy it in two sizes? What a hassel!!!
Pardon my language...but I really need a store where I can try Sh*t on and not feel blackballed.
Department stores...plus size gals---they want to win you back. The plus-size industry is starting to take-off and Bloomberg reports it'sestimated value has climbed to $17.5 billion dollars.
Online store, HeyGorgeous.com has decided to open up a showroom in Manhattan, because they feel their client's really enjoy human interaction and a proper fitting with an expert. They aren't wrong. Plus size women long for extra care, basically, the same human experience average size women enjoy. I was literally giddy after my latest experience shopping at the new Torrid store in the Eaton Centre. I chatted about the clothes with sales people who actually wanted to serve me. This wasn't an annoyance, this was a positive outing....and a real moment of retail therapy. This kind of treatment has eluded me for years.
I used to only frequent online stores..but my shopping habits have changed. My go-to stomping ground are real brick and motor boutiques like Gussied Up (Toronto/Vaughan) Torrid, Forever21, and Addition Elle....
Let's hope more outline outlets open physical stores, especially in Canada. Modcloth...I'm looking at you!