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Nordstrom ‘Sizing Up’ the Competition

Not unlike its shoe department, Nordstrom is celebrating women of all shapes and sizes with its extended sizing initiative launching at its new Century City store opening today. The initiative is one in a series of recent moves designed to upgrade the in-store shopping experience.

Most women’s contemporary brands start with size 2 or 4 and go up to size 12. Plus size brands typically range from size 18 to 24. Nordstrom is asking brands to fill the gaps in sizing and expand their size ranges by adding more 0’s, 2’s, 14’s, 16’s and 18’s. The aim is for a more inclusive shopping experience, which will start in the denim department of its newest store. Int will integrate all denim sizes together, side by side in one department, rather than separating the petite and plus sizes. Participating brands initially include Topshop, Rag & Bone and Madewell as well as the company’s private label brands, Caslon and Halogen.

“We recognize the opportunity to serve customers better by having more sizes,” states Tricia Smith, executive vice president and GMM for designer, women’s and kids apparel. She notes that customers have been asking for a broader range of sizes on both sides of the spectrum. “Style and fashion apply to everyone,” Smith adds. “We don’t view being size inclusive any differently that the need to be more inclusive across the board—whether it’s ethnicity, size or body type. In our opinion, petite and plus sizes shouldn’t be considered special categories. They’re just sizes.”

Nordstrom plans to expand its sizing statement for Holiday with about 40 brands committed to offering extended sizes on Nordstrom.com in multiple categories, including swimwear, activewear and ready-to-wear. For Spring ’18, the initiative will evolve further with extended sizes from a total of 60 brands and inclusive sizing in-store experiences in 15 stores. The retailer is not eliminating its existing plus size or petite departments, rather it is working toward filling the gaps in sizes and integrating all sizes together on the selling floor.

A mannequin grouping of different sizes in the TBD denim department at Nordstrom. The mannequins from L to R are size 0, (white zip top), size 12 (red moto jacket), size 2 (in the back with hat), size 8 (black top) and size 0, (black jeans). (PRNewsfoto/Nordstrom, Inc.)

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