George at Asda will launch its first dedicated plus-size range this autumn, Drapers has learned.
The initial 16-piece collection, which is currently unnamed, will be available online in sizes 18-32. George’s mainline clothing range goes up to a size 24.
The collection was due to launch this week, but has been delayed. If successful, it will be expanded to 35 items and become a permanent fixture on asda.com from spring 15.
“Simply Curves” had been mooted as a name for the UK-made range, which is still in production, but this is understood to be subject to change since the name is already used for George’s online lingerie range.
The line will comprise trend-led basics, as well as formal and weekend wear. Textured and printed blazers, skater dresses, embellished tops, longline tunics and leggings have been designed, with key looks to include Breton stripes, photographic florals and jacquard prints.
Retail prices will start at £8 for tops and leggings, and go up to £16 for a blazer. Drapers understands that Asda was focused on ensuring pricing remained in line with the rest of the George offering, so customers will not pay a premium for the range said a source.
An existing plus-size, third-party brand called Threads, which is available online in sizes 16-26, and comprises seven pieces, priced at £18 for a blouse and £30 for a skater dress, will be replaced by the George line.
George also plans to expand the sizing of its Wonderfit jeans range, which launched in spring last year. The £18 jeans, which are designed to stretch to fit across multiple sizes, will go up to a size 30 from mid-September.
George is entering a competitive sector. Tesco’s F&F plus-size True range offers sizes 16-28, while the Sainsbury’s Tu main clothing range goes up to a size 24. Tu dropped its previous standalone 18-28 plus-size brand, Grace, in August 2011, citing “customer feedback” for the decision.
On the high street, George will face competition from New Look, which is expanding its plus-size Inspire range to include nightwear, swimwear and lingerie.
Bonmarché has also relaunched plus-size brand Ann Harvey, a year after it was axed by Jacques Vert Group. The brand, which is available in sizes 16-32, has initially been introduced across 23 Bonmarché stores and a concession in Beales, Poole.