Clothing retailer Newport News was absorbed into retailer Spiegel at the end of September with the only a quick note to sales affiliates as warning. Spiegel , in turn, now hosts a “signature” plus size section that boasts a grand total of seven choices. It is a common move – and a very common mistake – for brands to cut plus sizes when a company is struggling to maintain cash flow. For some reason those crunching numbers notice the marginally higher costs of clothing production – and completely forget or ignore that plus size clothing at major brands sells out first, fast, and consistently have lower product turnover than do their “straight size” product counterparts. (You need money, plus size clothing is a 17 billion dollar industry…. put it together, folks.)
An email to customer service never turned up an explanation as to why the sudden cutback in plus size options, or a reason for the elimination of Newport News. Fat Chic is far from the only curios party – someone on Answer.com even asked (with no answer as of this draft) whether Spiegel brands is closing in Virginia.
These moves, and this sudden rollback, could very well relate to the bankruptcy filing reported in June of 20ll. A court did approve the sale of the brand to Artemiss, which is a division of a company called Patriarch Partners. The only direct reference to Artemiss from there is an application to apply for the Artemiss Appreciation Awards program, good only for returning Spiegel customers. Patriarch Partners itself appears to be in the business of rescuing US based businesses. If you have anything to add to the story, please add to it in comments!