There’s a big assumption amongst fashion e‑commerce managers: when it comes to women’s clothing, most ladies fall into the “standard” size range, while a minority need “Plus Sizes” of 14 and above. But if Abbey Post founder Cynthia Schames has anything to do with it, that way of thinking is about to become toast.
An ignored market
Schames has a vital lesson for e‑commerce managers and e‑commerce analysts who have shared this assumption about sizes: wake up and smell the coffee. In The U.S alone, there are 100 million women – and many, many more worldwide — who fall into the Plus Size category and want great clothes just as fervently as their slighter sisters. The average dress size of American women is 14. Yet these women are generally ignored by traditional retailers, a fact which leaves Schames and feeling more than a little indignant
Abbey Post goes straight for the plus size demographic; it’s a fashion marketplace not too dissimilar to Etsy, wherein anyone from top brands to independent designers can sell their creations. And it has a growing internal social network to complement its recently expanded inventory. Schames might have been a software sales consultant in a former life, but she’s proving herself a canny e‑commerce manager and entrepreneur, too.
A plus size woman herself, Schames had started to realize that in her native New York, she was finding it harder and harder to find suitable sized garments. Brands were pulling their larger garments out of retail stores and placing them exclusively online.
Including larger women in social shopping
But according to Schames, the online options weren’t appealing, and none of them included a social dimension that women especially enjoy when they’re shopping. Plus size women, she says, feel “neglected, disenfranchised and left out of conversations about fashion.” That’s when the idea of a social network-come-e-retail site for the larger lady occurred to her. Give these women a platform to connect over and but great clothes from, she says, and “that math adds up real fast.”
Abbey Post shares an emphasis on plus size clothing with other online retailers like Wanelo, OneStopPlus, SimpleBe and Fashion to Figure. But its emphasis on high-end clothing fused with its social approach really sets it apart.
E‑commerce managers, expect this baby to grow big – in a good way.