The "plus-size" section will soon disappear at Kmart, but the retailer is now offering a wider range of sizes than ever.
Kmart has changed the name of its "plus-size" clothing to "Fabulously Sized." The Fabulously Sized section includes extended sizes from Kmart labels including Jaclyn Smith and Basic Edition. Two other Kmart brands, Intimates and Attention Plus, now come in a wider range of sizes, up to 4X/5X.
“The average American woman is a US size 16 to 18. Often it’s hard for women to find extended sizes, and even harder when these options force women to choose from certain styles, patterns, and sizes,” Kelly Cook, Kmart’s chief marketing and digital officer, told TODAY Style in an email. “When we reached out to our Kmart members on social media, they told us we needed to have a better assortment on extended sizing apparel and that we should we call it something different. They absolutely love this whole mantra of ‘Fabulously Sized.’”
Some of the Fabulously Sized items will be available in their own section (the store’s former plus department), but many extended-size items will be mixed into the main women’s section. This helps eliminate the reluctance some women may feel to shop in the plus section, and it also ensures that all shoppers have access to the same outfits.
“All members can easily shop for what they want, and shop by style and not size,” Cook said.
Kmart’s latest campaign reflects a gradual shift away from the concept of "plus-size" in the fashion industry. Supermodel Ashley Graham has spoken out against the term, calling it “divisive,” and model Kate Upton has also rejected the category, arguing that “no one should be labeled by their body size at all.”
Ditching the term "plus-size" is also part of the retailer’s new body-positive campaign, “I Can.” The first video ad for “I Can” features curvy women rocking outfits from Kmart’s fall collections.
Kmart is the latest major retailer to offer a more inclusive range of sizes, without a clear separation between the plus and non-plus departments. Target recently debuted A New Day, a clothing line that caters to sizes XS to 4X, and earlier this year, Nike launched a new collection of activewear sizes. And this summer, Joe Fresh expanded its lines to include sizes up to 3X.
Kmart’s new Fabulously Sized line has gotten positive feedback on social media, though some consumers aren’t loving the new concept.
“As someone who is plus-sized, I'm kind of insulted that Kmart thinks they need to change the name,” one woman wrote on Twitter.
Others argue that the rebranding sends mixed messages.
“Kmart is renaming its 'plus-sized' section ‘Fabulously Sized’ ... does this mean skinny chicks aren't fabulously sized?” one woman wondered on Twitter.
However, Cook insists that Kmart’s new Fabulously Sized offering is all about body positivity, and helping women of all sizes express their personal sense of style.
“Fashion is ageless, shapeless and weightless,” she told TODAY Style. “We want to be inclusive and empower women to find apparel that makes them look and feel good, and be whoever they want to be.”
Fabulously Sized launched at a Kmart store in Des Plaines, Illinois, and is currently rolling out nationwide.