With a $20-billion plus-size market, Nike wants to highlight the ‘full range of athlete figures’
Nike NKE, +1.16% is making strides on inclusion efforts.
The athletic wear giant debuted curvy mannequins this week on the new women’s floor at its flagship store in London to showcase figures of all shapes and sizes.
The women’s floor in its Oxford Street store features a plus-size mannequin front and center dressed in a black sports bra and matching leggings with her hands stretching above her head.
“Highlighting a full range of athlete figures, the space shows multiple plus-sized and para-sport mannequins, a first for the city’s store,” Nike said in a statement to USA Today.
The launch comes two years after Nike debuted a plus-size collection that includes sizes ranging from 1X to 3X.
(Nike did not immediately return a request for comment. It’s unclear if there are plus-size mannequins on the store’s men’s floor as well).
Though a plus-sized mannequin may seem unusual, most American women qualify as “plus-size” in the eyes of the fashion industry. More than half of adult American women (67%) wear a size 14 or larger, according to research firm Plunkett Research.
And more mainstream retailers are breaking into the $20-billion plus-size fashion market.
Target TGT, +1.34% Forever 21, American Eagle’s AEO, -0.46% underwear label Aerie and Reformation, which sells at some Nordstrom JWN, +2.00% stores, introduced plus-size collections in the past year. Target drew praise last year for teaming up with Victoria Beckham for its Ava & Viv plus-size line, and continued its body positivity push this year with a new line of plus-size swimwear. Reformation launched a high-end plus-size line last year, telling customers, “Sorry it took us so long” while introducing The Reformation x Ali Tate Cutler Collection in response to comments and requests for “more inclusive sizing.”
Last year, Walmart WMT, +0.90% announced it purchased Eloquii, a fashion brand with on-trend plus-size clothing for women aimed at providing inventive looks as opposed to the standard basics traditionally found among plus-size options.
Nike is hardly the first major brand to display full figured mannequins. Old Navy GPS, +1.28% and Nordstrom have displayed curvy models in stores over the past year.
Shares of Nike have been up 12% this year compared to an 11% increase for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.02% and a 14% gain for the S&P 500 Index SPX, +1.05%