Monday, February 25, 2008

Shopping Shipping Injustices: The Gap

Today I decided to buy a pair of the new pink and the new light blue khakis from the Gap. I'm going to Florida for vacation next week, and I figured these pastel trousers would compliment Miami well. Trouble is that (as I mentioned in a previous post) they only come in regular length in the store. If you're petite or tall you have to order online and pay for shipping. It's only $6 when you shop on

But I was thinking about this--why should I have to order my clothes online just because I am not of average height? That's not fair! The Gap should carry petite and tall items in their stores. (Their sister store Banana Republic finally started carrying petite and their line fits me so well.)

While my ire was still up, I decided to voice my opinion. I called the Gap's customer service number. Here is a close facsimile of our conversation:

Gap: Gap online customer service--how may I help you?

Material Girl: Hello Gap. I'm going to purchase some khakis from your website because you don't carry petite sizes in your stores. I feel it is unjust that I must pay shipping charges, however, simply because I am 5 foot 2. Would you consider waiving the shipping charge of $6 to make me, your loyal customer who talks about you on her blog quite often, happy?

Gap: No. We can't do that.

Material Girl: Do you have any future plans to carry petite and tall sizes in your store and thus discontinue this injustice?

Gap: I'm going to put you on hold, Ma'am.

Interlude of obnoxious-and-loud hold music for approximately 2 minutes.

Ma'am, we do carry petite sizes in some of our large flagship stores, but we have no plans to carry them in other locations at this point. And I confirmed that we cannot waive shipping.

Material Girl: I'm sorry to hear that. Thank you for checking.

Gap: Is there anything else I can help you with today, Ma'am?

Material Girl: No thank you. Goodbye and have a Gappy day.

I'm thinking of starting a one woman email campaign. Perhaps if I bug them enough they will reconsider this retail strategy of theirs. I've have engaged in such campaigns before and hold myself at least partially responsible for dark chocolate M&Ms, the reemergence of the Jell-O pudding pop, and getting a Sephora in my Mall--so it just could work. Feel free to join me fellow not-of-average-height shoppers! If we all bug the Gap, they gotta change their ways.

And we can also work on Old Navy who some time ago removed all their plus size clothing from their stores, making it online only. A plus size friend of mine was both annoyed and insulted by this, as if Old Navy was saying to their plus size customers: "We want your money, but we don't want you in our stores." And who needs to try on clothing more than a plus size woman? Size 2's have a much easier time of it when it comes to how clothing fits them. Size 22's need a fitting room and a selection.

Gap corporation--throw me a bone here. Clear out a few dozen of the 10 million pairs of jeans you carry and give me a tiny little section of pants and tops that fit me.


Grace said...

This makes me so mad! When I was last at the Gap looking for tall jeans, I was told to try on the average jeans to pick a size, and then order the tall equivalent online. But most tall pants fit differently than average pants of the same make. They don't always just make the legs longer, the waist sometimes is longer, too... which just doesn't work for me.

It's hard enough for a long-legged short-waisted girl to find pants that fit without in-store height discrimination! Sign me up for the campaign!

MerriElizabeth said...

I work for Gap inc, specifically in Old Navy.

It's not that we don't carry plus size in the store. In store we go up to Double X and a size 20 pants. It's just anything bigger than that you do have to go online. Our stores aren't always big enough to carry everything we sell. We sell maternity and a larger selection of styles online as well. And we're happy to return online purchases in-store. And if you have an Old Navy card, Banana card or Gap card, free shipping is a perk when shopping online.

I like what you're saying in your blog, but by no means does Gap inc not want plus size people in our stores. Or pregnant people. Or people looking for a waffle tee that we don't carry in store. We appreciate all of our customers, and try to make it easy for everyone to get what they like.


That's good the hear merrielizabeth. I was passing along my friend's feeling on the Old Navy matter, and it's my understanding that there used to be a great deal more clothing in her size available in store, that there was a mailing or announcement of some sort that the in-store offerings were changing.

It sounds like you're a good employee and I get the feeling your have pride in your job. That's great. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

MerriElizabeth said...

I wasn't aware there used to be more available. (I've worked there four months.) And you're right, I do love my job. And I do want everyone to have a good experience at Old Navy.

I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for writing!

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