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retailers: pick up your game!

For those of us who are at the larger end of the size spectrum, or at the smaller end, it can be incredibly difficult to buy clothing in your size in stores. Forget buy – it can be incredibly difficult to FIND clothing in your size in the stores. No wonder why so many of us turn to online shopping versus in-store. The savings can be astronomical, and the customer service, depending on the site, can be great. Is it any wonder that so many bricks and mortar retailers are going broke when basic customer service skills seem to be lacking so much? I’m not really into walking into a store and being completely ignored, or looked at like I was less than a clump of chewing gum on the sales assistant’s feet and I dare say most people aren’t into that either.

I believe in power to the people in order for stores to pick up their game and compete with online shopping. I want to be able to support Australian retailers after all!

I recently read that Australian Target would only be stocking a certain amount of size 6 and 8 clothing in their stores. Apparently the sizes just don’t sell as well, so size 10 and up were going to be stocked more often. I was ready to say sorry to smaller girls, you’ll have to find your clothing elsewhere if it sells out, but after a barrage of comments complaining about this on the Australian Target Facebook page, it looks like they won’t be going through with the decision.

Sometime last year, City Chic stopped stocking size 24s in their store. Their reasoning was the same as Target’s – it just didn’t sell as well. I found this statement funny, because when I thought about it, I never saw size 24 clothing in the store – it always seemed to be gone immediately. Either they never put the stock out, or it was selling as soon as it hit the floor. Which is it?

No amount of complaining changed their mind and the largest size that is in a City Chic store is a 22 and I have to say, every time I enter a City Chic store when there are sales on, the largest sizes are the ones that are gone first, meanwhile there are usually plenty of XS and S left on the floor.

I’m not in business or in marketing, so I just have to presume people who are in charge of these for stores know what they’re talking about or else they wouldn’t be in their positions, but when you have a huge amount of customers complaining about these changes, doesn’t this tell you that the changes were wrong? What about listening to the consumer?

Most of the women on the smaller end at least have the option of being able to shop at different stores, even if they don’t want to. The option is there. I understand it can be incredibly frustrating to find clothing that doesn’t fit – too big, too small, not right in this place, not right in the other. It’s a different type of frustrating, but it is no less frustrating. But for those on the larger end, once a store stops stocking their size, they have very, very few other options available to them and the ones that are available go up up up in pricing, but stay down down down in comparative quality.

So, what is to be done?

Put your money where your mouth is. If you’re going to spend your cash on clothing, spend it on clothing that you can afford, that you feel good in, which gives good customer service and comes in your size.

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