I’ve been reading all these fabulous blogs from fatshionistas in the UK about a day trip to Yours Clothing that they had earlier this week.
Yours are a UK plus-size clothing retail chain that I think are really starting to get it right about selling mass produced clothing to their customers. Firstly they start at a size 14 and go all the way up to size 32 (UK sizes). Their prices are reasonable for mass produced clothing (in fact, just looking at the website which has a conversion to $AU, I’d say a lot of their stuff is downright bargain) and they have a really wide variety of styles and vary from the casual to the cocktail, with a bit of something for everyone. I’ve not bought from them via mail order, but I’ve heard good things about their international mail order service, and they also have brick and mortar stores in the UK for women to go and physically touch, see and try on their products. I can’t speak for the quality of their stock either, as I don’t own any, but there are several other bloggers who seem to really like what they do. And for the prices they’re listing, one wouldn’t be expecting double seams or hand stitching, you know? Mass produced is mass produced for a reason.
But what I am really impressed by is their engaging with their customers, and those people who are their best marketing, the word of mouth of bloggers and social media. They invited in half a dozen fatshion bloggers for a day spent at their office and warehouse. They showed them through the warehouse, through the studio where they photograph the models and products for the marketing, and spent some time with each of the bloggers talking to them about what they do, what they like, their blogs and the Yours Clothing website. They let them try on a bunch of the clothes, had some fun in the studio.
The two most significant things are that they treated these plus-sized women like welcome guests and acknowledged their love of fun and fashion, and that they actually listen to their customers, rather than assuming that marketing stats are anything to go by.
You can read some rundowns of the events by the bloggers here:
I believe that Australia’s plus-size retail chains have a lot to learn from Yours Clothing. By encouraging word of mouth marketing from their very customers, they’re acknowledging that there is a considerable market out there for mainstream plus-sized fashion, and that by giving those who are vocal and visible online a chance to see behind the scenes and talk about the company, they’re speaking directly to the customers who would be buying their product. By offering affordable products of a wide variety, they’re also acknowledging the right of their customer to have choice in what they wear and how they style themselves.
I’d like to challenge Australian plus-size retail chains to start thinking this way. Make a difference huh?