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New York & Company Acquires Fashion to Figure to Boost Plus Size Offering

Women’s specialty apparel retailer New York & Company has agreed to acquire trendy plus-size fashion brand Fashion to Figure in an effort to expand its offering in the extended sizes segment.

As part of the $1.4 million deal (plus no more than $1 million in fees and expenses), New York & Company will acquire the intellectual property related to the Fashion to Figure brand.

“We believe Fashion to Figure has strong name recognition with the plus-size consumer and a very loyal consumer base, with a database of approximately 500,000 customers, that we believe we can effectively leverage to grow the brand, particularly online, to drive profitable future growth,” New York & Company CEO Gregory Scott said in a statement Tuesday. “We see an opportunity to enter into an underserved and growing segment of the women’s apparel market.”

The apparel industry has been moving toward more inclusive fit as the realities of American consumers’ sizes and demands come into clearer focus and fashion gets increasingly forced away from its former disinterest in extended size ranges. What’s more, as with New York & Company, many brands are recognizing the business opportunities available in the plus-size market.

As Scott went on, citing NPD data, the women’s plus-size market in the U.S. was worth roughly $21 billion in 2016, and it has grown at more than twice the rate of the overall U.S. women’s apparel market. That growth is only expected to continue.

[Read more about opportunities in the plus-size market: How Nailing Plus Size Fit Could Help Retailers Turn Things Around]

“We believe the combination of Fashion to Figure’s outstanding brand equity and expertise in the plus-size space coupled with New York & Company’s operational expertise, omnichannel capabilities, strong digital business, and celebrity platform will enable us to generate significant top line growth and sustained profits with the Fashion to Figure business while ensuring to preserve its existing brand DNA,” Scott said.

Founded in 2004 by Michael and Nicholas Kaplan, great grandsons of plus-size chain Lane Bryant founder Lena Bryant, Fashion to Figure has built its brand on the idea of bringing fashion to women’s figures, rather than the other way around. Once the transaction with New York & Company closes, a “revitalized” Fashion to Figure will be reintroduced to the market in early February 2018 with an online site and select stores, which is expected to allow New York & Company to capture the brand’s previous profitable sales.

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Fashion to Figure filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month, so its assets will go to TFT Acquisition LLC as part of its Chapter 11 reorganization and will then be handed over to New York & Company late in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017.