Lane Bryant's Parent Company Has Acquired Ann Taylor And Hopefully This Means That LOFT X Lane Bryant Is Coming

There's some news in the retail world this morning about a multi-billion dollar fashion acquisition that might not seem like a huge deal, but very much could be — especially if you're plus-size. Lane Bryant's parent company Ascena Retail has purchased Ann Taylor for $2.2 billion dollars. Home to Lane Bryant, Cacique, and Dress Barn already, this acquisition not only makes sense, but also makes me hopeful that this could lead to even more options for the company's plus-size shoppers.The sale won't be finalized for a few more months and the current CEO, Kay Krill, will remain at the helm of the brand. But I'm hoping that eventually some changes will be under way. "As a member of the Ascena family, Ann, Inc. will be poised to further enhance and grow our business as we continue to take steps to better strategically and operationally position our brands for the dynamics that are redefining the landscape of the women's specialty retailing industry," Krill said in a press release. Basically: It's a tough time out there in the retail landscape right now and hopefully being a part of the retail group will afford both Ann Taylor and LOFT a bit more stability. Here's why I'm excited about this development, though:

Striped Shirtdress, $80,

With the recent re-brand of LOFT and an attempt to appeal to Millennials and a younger, more hip audience with increased social media presence and more casual loungewear line Lou & Grey, I'm definitely excited about the possibility of a LOFT collaboration with Lane Bryant. Although the line already carries fashion up to size 18, it would be super refreshing to see it match Lane Bryant's range, which goes up to a size 28.

While LOFT maybe isn't considered a super-exciting brand to most, the brand has a ton of styles that most straight-size retailers don't carry in anything bigger than an L or 12. Affordable plus-size work wear/casual wear options are much needed, but most current retailers are lacking in producing them. With LOFT's new relationship with Labe Bryant, however, perhaps these major gaps will begin to fill. Having a mainstream mall store give a little real estate to even more plus-sizes would make these not only available period, but more accessible, in turn furthering the normalization of plus-size clothes. Oh, and the fact that the plus-size market is lucratively profitable wouldn't hurt the brand, either. Sounds like it would be a win/win to me, so we'll see if Ascena feels the same way.

Images: Ann Taylor; LOFT