Not everyone’s a size 8, but it seems that is all Australians retailer seem to cater for these days, if you ask shoppers. Many angry customers have taken to the Facebook and social media accounts of several retailers to air their frustrations about a lack of option for plus size women.
On Kmart’s Facebook page, customers have asked the retailer to stock more clothes in larger sizes. Nikki wrote, “It’s a shame women’s Everlast wear doesn’t come in larger sizes as I love the clothes”, another commenter, Paige, wrote “Please Kmart bring back alexia range tights/leggings your usual range only go to size 18 and no where near last as long as the alexia range”.
These are just some of the comments on the Kmart Australia page, and various other retailers.
Helen Fraser, a size 22/24 woman was told by her doctor she that needed to lose weight so she headed off to her local Big W store in search for some exercise gear.
“I had never even thought about what was available in fitness gear until my GP and podiatrist warned me that my health was suffering from my weight and drastic action was needed,” she told Kidspot.
“I’m not a sporty person as an adult – despite being an active kid – so wasn’t aware of what was available prior to this.”
Helen left the store in the Woodgrove Shopping centre, in northwest Melbourne, in tears when she discovered there were three aisles for sizes up to size 18 but only a few pairs of pants, t-shirts and jackets in the Michelle Bridges MB active wear range – all only available in black.
“The reason I was given at the time was that they were only doing black for those sizes as that was the demographic for that area,” Helen said.
Other customers have been upset too. Caitlin Wills told Kidspot, Big W “Up until February this year they were selling a fantastic range of plus-sized active wear.
“Now that they’ve stopped selling it, I actually consider it discrimination. Kmart and Best and Less are the only places I could afford to buy active wear from”.
The question these shoppers are asking is, shouldn’t we be encouraging bigger people to exercise if they want to?
“At Kmart Australia we strive to continuously listen to our customers feedback with the introduction of our elevated basics range available in sizes 6-26 in addition to our Alexia range, covering sizes 18-26.”
BIG W response:
“BIG W offers a range of plus size activewear for women up to size 26. We encourage customers who are unable to purchase a product in store to visit our website where they can view our entire activewear range.
“Black remains the most popular colour among our customers for activewear.”
“BIG W is looking to launch new plus size activewear ranges in stores in the coming months”.