An unexpected retailer is surging to be more popular than H&M, Kohl’s, and Macy’s

Lane Bryant carries women's sizes from 10 to 32.

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Lane Bryant carries women’s sizes from 10 to 32.
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Facebook/Lane Bryant

  • Plus-size store Lane Bryant was voted the second-favorite premium fashion retailer in the US in a recent survey.
  • Respondents ranked the chain high on customer service and store atmosphere.
  • It ranked low on value for money.

Lane Bryant has won over the hearts of American shoppers.

The plus-size store, which is owned by Ascena Retail Group, placed second on a list of Americans’ favorite premium fashion stores, gaining seven percentage points of favorability over the year prior. 10,000 people responded to the survey, which was done by the customer-experience management company Market Force.

Lane Bryant was second only to Nordstrom, which was voted the No. 1 favorite for the sixth year running.

Respondents in the Market Force survey praised Lane Bryant for its customer service, store atmosphere, checkout speed, and the ease with which shoppers were able to find the correct sizes.

But, it scored low on value for money. Outside of sale items, the current collection of dresses at Lane Bryant costs between $59.95 and $99.95, for example.

Lane Bryant has struggled in the past year. Same-store sales dropped by 6% in the fiscal year of 2017, following a 1% increase in 2016. In its most recent quarterly results, reported in December for the first quarter of fiscal 2018, Ascena Retail Group reported that same-store sales were down by 5% at Lane Bryant.

But the retailer has the chance to cash in on a historically underserved market with enormous potential.

According to the Fashion Institute of Technology, more than half of women in the US are plus-size, or size 14 and above. The plus-size market generates $21 billion of annual sales in the US, according to numbers from the NPD Group, which were reported by Bloomberg. Last year it grew 6%, far outpacing sales of women’s apparel in general.

In the past, Lane Bryant has been criticized for being unfashionable and outdated, but the company has started to shed its dowdy reputation. It launched several viral social-media campaigns to appeal to shoppers, including “I’m No Angel,” which appeared to take direct aim at Victoria’s Secret.

The

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The “I’m no Angel” campaign embraces women of all sizes.
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Lane Bryant