SELF - The Relentless Reality of Anti-Fatness in Fitness

January 11, 2022

In 2020, one brand—Superfit Hero—made the bold pivot to plus-only clothing. Why? Because plus-size exercisers were their best customers.

Micki Krimmel founded Superfit Hero in 2015 with a line that ran from XS-5X. In 2019, while reviewing sales data, Krimmel realized that most of their repeat customers were in the plus range—“something like 95%,” she says. After interviewing a number of shoppers, she realized why: “It became obvious really quickly that the problems we were solving for plus-size consumers were very different than the ones we were solving for straight-size consumers,” she explains. Straight-size shoppers said they liked the pockets or the fabrics. Plus shoppers broke down crying, saying how grateful they were to be able to play their sport or do their workout in comfortable, appropriate clothing. For them, “it’s life-changing,” Krimmel says, “It’s access.” Superfit Hero was serving a vast and virtually untapped market. Krimmel and her team decided to drop the smaller sizes and produce their line only in sizes 12-42. The pivot paid off, and not just in sales: Instagram engagement jumped 1,000% within a week of launching the new size range, Krimmel says. Press coverage picked up. For the first time, major retailers began reaching out. Early this year, Superfit Hero is launching a partnership with Kohl’s—a milestone for the brand and its customers. “This is going to be the very first time that people can go in-store, in a major retailer, and try on size 6X and 7X in activewear,” Krimmel says.

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