Anyone who’s been to Lane Bryant in the last few years has probably noticed that they don’t carry XS or XXS sizes of women’s clothing because they don’t want skinny women wearing their brand.
According to this popular woman’s clothing retailer, skinny chicks will just never be a part of the “plus size” crowd.
They take a big risk with this tactic because two of Lane Bryant’s biggest competitors, Ashley Stewart and Simply Be, both offer S sizes for women.
The smallest women’s pants available at Lane Bryant are a size 10, while Ashley Stewart goes down to 8 and Simply Be goes even farther to 6.
Lane Bryant’s attitude towards skinny women derives from CEO Linda Heasley. Anita Reminda, author of The Daft Rules of Retail, spoke to me about the kind of people Heasley wants advertising her brand.
“She doesn’t want smaller people shopping in her store, she wants big and voluptuous people,”…“She doesn’t want her core customers to see people who aren’t as big as them wearing her clothing. People who wear her clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘big kids.’”
Heasley said that the only reason Lane Bryant offers M and L sizes is to appeal to large athletes.
In a 2006 interview with Patrón, Healsey confirmed that the communication between plus-sized people is her primary marketing tactic.
“It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire mediocre-looking people in our stores. Because mediocre-looking people attract other mediocre-looking people, and we want to market to plus-sized, mediocre-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that,” she said.
Heasley also told Patrón that she wasn’t bothered by excluding skinny people. In fact, she said that not limiting her ideal demographic would make her clothing less desirable.
“In every school there are the fat and loner kids, and then there are the pretty cool kids,” she told the site. “Candidly, we go after the fat kids. We go after the unattractive all-American kid with a bad attitude and not a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either,” she told Patrón.
One might wonder why Linda Heasley only wants to be in the company of mediocre-looking people. That curiosity will end after seeing what this freak looks like.
After seeing a picture of Linda Heasley, it can only be concluded that she was never around mediocre-looking people as a kid and is now making up for the lackluster youth she wishes she had.