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Ashley Stewart’s Marketing Strategies


Ashley Stewart was founded in 1991 and since then has become one of the most popular retailers of plus-size clothes. The target market of the company involves solely women wearing plus-size outfits. The brand focuses mostly on African American women, a segment that was almost free from competitors. The company could expand the target market by creating new models for children and men. However, its strategy is based on the inspiration of women and celebrating the curves of their bodies. Thus, it would not be easy to tailor the strategy according to new segments of the market. The company’s success can be analyzed through the concept of six Ps: promotion, product, place, people, price, and presentation.

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6 P’s of Ashley Stewart


The success of the Ashley Stewart brand is connected, first of all, with the high demand for plus-size clothes. Even though approximately 67 percent of women in the U.S. wear sizes from 14 to 34, many companies do not offer clothes of these sizes (Grewal and Levy, 2020). Thus, the brand found its niche and started to help curvy women to find clothes that would fit them.


The brand presents itself on social media as the company that cherishes kindness most of all. It organizes different campaigns aimed at inspiring women all over the U.S. It also supports mothers and family relationships, as evidenced by the #Momspiration campaign.


The brand has a global online platform and approximately 100 shops across the U.S. Although in 2010 it did not have a modern website that would meet the customer’s needs, nowadays it has changed its policy. The brand strives to make its stores very comfortable, and the online platforms are developed using the latest technologies.


James Rhee, Ashley Stewart’s CEO, has totally changed the course of the company’s development. In the 2010s, Ashley Stewart was experiencing a decrease in sales. Marketing processes were based on intuition rather than on clear strategies, and there was no even wi-fi in the company’s office (Grewal and Levy, 2020). However, James Rhee was able to see the brand’s potential, which lied in the concepts that stood behind it: respect and empowerment.

Price and Presentation

The brand positions itself as an affordable one, at the same time providing a boutique atmosphere in its retail stores. Ashley Stewart company is an embodiment of respect, empowerment, and joy. It positions itself as a sisterhood, a place where every woman can feel cherished and understood. The brand welcomes women to embrace the curves of their bodies and to see their beauty.

Basis for Competitive Advantage

The company implemented a specific strategy based on mathematical algorithms predicting the customers’ behavior. The customers are expected to behave differently on different days, so the statistical data helps to predict their behavior and correct the marketing strategy. In addition, James Rhee has introduced a number of other modern IT technologies in different spheres, for example, e-commerce. The brand is focused on the feelings of a potential customer. Loyalty is the brand’s core principle, so everything in the stores is made to ensure that a woman feels comfortable and would return. The brand not only sells clothes, but also organises different campaigns supporting women. For example, it raises funds for cancer treatment, donates clothes, and grants scholarships. Thus, due to these strategies the company has successfully overcome the crisis of 2014 and became one of the top brands in the segment.

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Grewal D., Levy M. (2020). Marketing. 7th edition. McGraw Hill Education.

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