Old Navy will no longer keep women’s plus-size clothing in separate sections in its stores and plans to offer all its designs from sizes 0 to 30. That bucks the trend at most department stores and retail chains, which have separate areas for regular, petite, and plus-sized offerings.

An underserved demographic and a lucrative market: Coresight Research estimates that the plus-size market for women in the US will be worth $32.3 billion this year, which represents 20.7% of the entire women’s clothing market. A spokesperson for Old Navy said searches for “plus” on its website are up 63% year over year.

Old Navy joins several other apparel brands that have broadened their size options and featured plus-size models in marketing materials recently, including Victoria’s Secret, Target, Nike, and Nordstrom.

Let’s try this again. Back in 2014, Old Navy was criticized for charging higher prices for women’s plus-size jeans, but not men’s. It learned its lesson—and as part of the new initiative, customers won’t pay more for plus-size clothing.

  •  “Why would we charge more for an extra-large versus a 3X? You cannot have true size inclusivity if you’re charging a different price,” a merchant at Old Navy said.

Bottom line: Legacy retailers see lots of $$$ in extended sizing, but adding sizes also creates manufacturing complexity and higher costs.

– SQ