Springingtiger's Blog

Plus Size Sadness


While we were out at the weekend my wife and I decided to drop into Matalan en route to buy a replacement for a much loved top that now has a stain on it. Matalan used to have a good range of plus sized women’s clothing on its ‘Rogers and Rogers label sadly the plus sizes had entirely disappeared. Some stores are still carrying Rogers and Rogers and the range is still available online, but with only twenty three items it is obvious that Matalan’s interests are elsewhere. What this means for us is that we will not be buying from Matalan any more. It’s not a boycott, however as Rogers and Rogers was always our primary reason for visiting, the incidental purchases we used to make (largely in the homewares) wont happen.

There are not a lot of shops with a decent range of plus sizes and so plus size shopping often means making a special trip out to Evans or Bonmarche. Sadly as these are women’s clothes shops there is less opportunity for serendipitous purchases of other things. Asda sometimes has good plus size items, but these tend to be the serendipitous items that get added to a food shop and besides some people prefer not to use WalMart.

The internet is of necessity becoming the place to do plus size shopping. It is a different type of shopping. One can browse in shops and make happy accidental discoveries whereas on the internet a person generally knows what they want and searches for it specifically. I must admit it is very easy to shop on the Matalan site, sadly there’s very little for the plus size shopper to buy. I haven’t seen any statistics, but I wonder whether removing the ability to browse through a shop reduces the number of extra purchases a shopper makes. I know if I buy a book on Amazon I buy a book on Amazon; if I buy a book in Waterstones I buy several.

I suppose every retailer wants to cut their overheads and I can’t blame them. However removing the fun from shopping, I suspect, causes people to shop when necessary for what they need and not waste as much time and money on what they don’t. In the end the restrictions on shopping are probably financially beneficial to shoppers, but do they help retailers and manufacturers? Whatever, it seems unfair that one section of the buying public, already used to disproportionately difficult shopping, is even more disadvantaged than hitherto.


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