Old Navy, Old Schmavy
As many of you may have heard, Old Navy recently decided to stop carrying its Women’s Plus line in stores, instead opting to make it only available online. (Scroll down the link page for story.)
So, what to make of this?
Well, the first thing I thought was, “Ugh. That’s annoying.”
What I didn’t think, however, was that this was some defeat for the underdogs in the “War Against Fat”, or whatever certain members of Fat Acceptence movement are calling it.
In fact, I really don’t think this has anything to do with fat acceptance or fat discrimination or sizism as all.
I think it’s about, like all else in the world, money.
As my father always used to tell me, “Follow the money trail.”I doubt Old Navy would decide to drop a line of clothing from its stores just because they want to discriminate against fat women. What I’m guessing is that the line wasn’t profiting them the way they had hoped and it’s probably costing the company more money to keep the clothing in stores than it’s worth. I mean, I can’t imagine any other reason Old Navy would make a move like this. Still, they certainly must be making some money off the items, otherwise they wouldn’t continue producing the clothing, but probably only just enough to keep the line running online.
It makes sense in a lot of ways. Just from being fat and observing how I and others like myself shop for clothing, it seems that the online world is much more accessible for shopping than real life. Though it’s a pain to buy something not knowing how it’s going to fit or what it’s going to look like, online shopping for plus-size clothing is definitely booming. I see Old Navy’s move as being up-and-coming towards the future of retail, not a step backward for heavy women. In fact, a few weeks before news broke, I did actually buy a summer top off of Old Navy’s website and nothing went awry:
(Like my new shirt?)
And finally, to be honest, I agree with Truly Curvaceous in her assessment (which I couldn’t link because I can’t find the page) that Old Navy clothing, while inexpensive, just isn’t that well-made. It’s alright, I mean, but it’s not like we’re losing out on very much. Furthermore, as Elegant Plus Magazine points out, there were numerous problems with the line and its marketing to begin with. Thus, I don’t see the loss of real-life assessibility being any sort of tragedy. Target, Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx, and Kohl’s still carry plus-sizes at discount prices in stores, not to mention New York & Company, which, while slightly more expensive than these stores, offers really fashionable styles and products that will last you a long while.
So please, don’t cry over spilled fabric.
~ by Rob Anne on May 11, 2007.
Posted in "Follow The Money Trail", "War Against Fat", Elegant Plus Magazine, Fashion, Fat Acceptence Movement, Fat Chicks, Fat Community Online, Fat Discrimination, Kohl's, Marshall's, New York & Company, Old Navy, Online Shopping, Plus-Size Clothing Industry, Plus-Size Fashion, Sizism, Social Networking, T.J. Maxx, Target