The fashion brand has repeatedly come under fire for charging more for items in its Curve range. Most recently shopper Maria Wassell complained when she found a pair of green striped trousers were on sale in the shop’s Curve range for £22.99 – 15% more than the £19.99 charged for a pair in for sizes 6-18.
New Look’s Curve range starts at size 18, so a customer purchasing this size would pay more for selecting the pair in the Curve range.
“It’s like being discriminated against for being plus-size when I’m only slightly bigger than average,” the 43-year old, from Ashford in Kent, told The Times. “The average size for a British woman is now a size 16.”
Shopper Sarah Doherty told HuffPost UK she also complained to the brand last November after finding they charged £29.99 for a grey aviator jacket with faux fur detailing in sizes 6-18, but a similar grey aviator jacket from the Curve collection (sizes 18-32) was priced at £54.99.
“This is colloquially known in the plus-size blogging world as a ‘fat tax’,” Doherty said at the time. “So many brands think they’re being progressive by providing the same clothes for both their straight and plus-size collections, but then whack an extra charge on it, which undoes anything even remotely positive in their original intention.”
Debating the issue on the Victoria Derbyshire show, plus-size fashion designer Anna Scholz argued the price increase was not unreasonable as it can take twice the fabric to make the same item in a larger size. “As a company we sell from size 16 to 28 – if I had smaller sizes as well I would have to price them differently,” she said.
However New Look also stocks the green stripe wide leg trousers in its longer length ‘Tall range’ in sizes 10-20. Despite these cuts needing more material, they are still available for the lower price of £19.99.
When HuffPost UK first raised the issue to New Look last November they declined to comment, but now after facing further criticism the brand has released a statement, saying: “To ensure pricing differences like these don’t happen in future, we are in the process of reviewing the pricing structure of our plus-size collection in a way which works best for our customers and our business. We are proud of the ranges we offer to our plus-size customers and value all customers, no matter what their body shape or size.”