H & M stores everywhere will be transitioning this summer thanks to the company’s decision to change its sizing. The Swedish retailer, which is ranked as the second leading apparel brand worldwide, will be implementing this new sizing in a number of countries. Namely the US, UK, Ireland, Mexico, Canada, and Colombia. A spokesperson reportedly said that the decision reflects years of feedback from customers. As social media would tell you, there are many who have been complaining about the brand’s rather small sizing.
In stores, clothing will now bear a tag stating “You’ve asked, we’ve listened! We’re changing our sizing. Try on this item to find your size.” The brand has already begun the transition in phases, the first of which took place in 2017. Clothes sized on XS-XXL scale were shifted up by one standard deviation. Essentially, those who wore a medium would now wear a small and so on. This summer will see a shift in numbered sizes; for example, a former size 12 will now be the equivalent of a size 10.
The spokesperson stated “It is important for us to always listen to our customers, take their feedback and act in order to provide the best experience possible. We know from our feedback that our sizing needed to be more in line with the North American consumer as well as be in line with the industry standard in the market.”
The brand has already debuted their new sizing online, this will be the first time we see the new phase in stores. Vicki Alvarado, a merchandise planning expert, has commented on the actions taken by H & M, saying that size variation among stores is very common. Alvarado says: “This happens at almost every retailer I know. It’s very common. Retailers will say it’s because of the design, the silhouette, what the designer specifications are, what the product specifications are, that affords the size change, but it can be very frustrating never knowing your size.” Thus, this change could be H & M’s way of providing reliable sizing.
According to an article by Racked, H & M has typically been criticized as a brand that is “out of touch with the with the average American woman.” Although, some may view these changes as small in scale. According to estimates, the brand’s new size 2 will now be the equivalent of a size 0 in brands such as American Eagle or the Gap. This means that H & M might still be smaller in scale than many American brands.
However, depending on how changes affect sale patterns, H & M may make further changes to their purchase orders for 2019. Meaning perhaps even more size offerings as well as new categories.
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