Consumers unleashed their fury on social media earlier this week in response to women’s apparel retailer LOFT announcing plans to stop offering plus sizes.
When asked by a customer on Twitter if the company was discontinuing its plus-size line, the retailer responded with this message:
“Unfortunately, due to ongoing business challenges, we have had to make some difficult decisions, which does impact our plus collection. Come fall, our size offering will be 00-18/XXS – XXL. We sincerely apologize for any disappointment.”
The response set off a cascade of negative comments from disappointed and angry consumers, as they dragged LOFT across the social media coals on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Multiple sources reported that the brand’s parent company — private-equity firm Sycamore Partners — has not responded to requests for additional comments or information. Sycamore acquired the LOFT, Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant and Lou & Grey brands last year from Ascena Retail Group in a $540 million bankruptcy auction.
Expansion into inclusive sizing has been an emerging trend from fashion and athleisure brands, as they aim to grab a piece of the $9.8 billion market for women’s plus-size apparel. Will LOFT reverse course or is the damage already done? Only time will tell.