QVC Strengthens Accessible, Adaptive Offerings – Sourcing Journal

QVC tries to make accessible products more accessible.

About 15 percent of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And according to the Census Bureau, about 57 million Americans live with a disability — Tommy Hilfiger’s research found that number is about one in five Americans. And this marginalized group has an estimated spending power of nearly $500 billion, according to a 2018 report by the American Institutes for Research.

Despite this, adaptive fashion remains a relative niche market; McKinsey’s 144-page State of Fashion report from 2023 did not contain a single mention of adaptive or accessible fashion. This is despite the fact that the market for adaptive clothing is expected to be worth US$400 billion by 2026, according to Coherent Market Insights, a global market research and advisory organization. This is a 145 percent increase from a 2019 study by Coresight Research.

However, some retailers are taking action.

QVC has expanded its commitment to expand its accessible and adaptable assortments, streamline the way customers find and explore it, and improve the accessibility of its end-to-end shopping experience. The Qurate Retail company has named actress, author and disability advocate Selma Blair as its Accessibility Brand Ambassador.

QVC launched a dedicated accessible and adaptable category – featuring hundreds of fashion, home, electronics and beauty products – becoming one of the first US retailers to curate a full lifestyle of accessible products in a single multi-category offering. It highlights accessible products in each category and has launched a central digital storefront for these products with solution-based navigation and options to filter by adaptive features.

Additionally, the home shopping classic has unveiled Accessible Living, an on-air show focusing on essential household products that simplify everyday tasks and promote independent living. Across all v-commerce (or video-commerce) programs, QVC more frequently demonstrates product accessibility features while representing the disability, aging, post-surgical and convalescent, and care communities in product presentations and photographs. The retailer is also conducting a 360-degree review of all customer touchpoints — from its advertising to v-commerce platforms, delivery processes and more — and making changes to improve accessibility and ensure a barrier-free customer experience.

“We believe everyone deserves inclusive shopping experiences, services and products that make them feel seen, including the millions of Americans who live with a disability; aging in place or in assisted living; recovery from surgery, illness or injury; or to support others as a caregiver,” said Rachel Ungaro, GMM and VP of Fashion Merchandising at QVC. “Our goal is to meet each client where they are in the arc of life and empower them to express their own unique style. We plan to expand our offerings in our accessible and adaptable category by bringing new brands to QVC, expanding our relationships with existing providers, and developing our own products and brands.”

QVC said it has a longstanding commitment to customer engagement. Since its launch, QVC has offered fashion in a wide range of women’s sizes at the same price regardless of size. The expanded focus on accessibility reflects increasing consumer demand, particularly for fashion that offers more choices without sacrificing style and form, and for home products that simplify everyday life, improve safety and promote independent living. QVC’s live, interactive v-commerce model gives the company solid insight into customer trends.

“When QVC approached me, I was so impressed and grateful that they welcomed these discussions,” Blair said. “One of the basic pleasures of our lives is to enjoy shopping and to find things that we find beautiful and useful. There is a more vibrant way to showcase these products and I’m really excited to join QVC in exploring what’s in store for all of us.”

The Cruel Intentions actress announced her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2018 and has since been vocal about her health journey, including projects like the award-winning documentary Introducing, Selma Blair, which sees the Hollywood star adapt to new… ways of living with the autoimmune disease. In 2017, she was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year as one of the Silence Breakers, worked with Google on their Accessible Marketing Playbook, and appeared in campaigns for Chanel, Miu-Miu, and Marc Jacobs. Her commitment to serving people with disabilities earned her the Hollywood Reporter’s 2021 Equity in Entertainment Award and the 2022 SAG-AFTRA Harold Russell Award, as well as the 2021 Media Access Award Visionary Award.

QVC’s landing page for women’s adaptive clothing and footwear.


QVC has also partnered with Maura Horton, a disability diversity and inclusion consultant who is creating change through education, product development, strategic partnerships and the advancement of global inclusion. Horton’s roots are in product design and development as she was a pioneer in the adaptive fashion movement. After her husband was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease, Horton pioneered the concept of adaptive clothing that placed equal emphasis on function and fashion. She founded MagnaReady, an adaptive apparel company, which she sold in 2019 before turning to general inclusion work. She continues to be a driving force in adaptive movement, working to develop holistically integrative designs that encompass digital strategies, phrasebooks, and authentic representations in wellness, home, beauty, style, and more.

“QVC’s live stream v-commerce platforms and relationships give the company a unique opportunity to be a game changer in this space,” Horton said. “I see QVC as the ideal retailer to curate products and tell human stories that demonstrate the arc of life. I’m excited to help QVC create safe spaces where people can find the resources they need and feel reassured that they are not alone.”

The task force leading QVC’s accessibility initiative includes team members from the disability and care communities, as well as QVC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team. Accessibility reflects QVC’s commitment to fostering an inclusive environment and affects all aspects of the company’s operations. QVC has made a specific commitment to disability inclusion as part of The Valuable 500, Qurate Retail Group’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

QVC’s adaptive and accessible category includes product offerings from over 170 brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Billy Footwear, Vionic, Seven7 and Yarrow.

The next episodes of Accessible Living air March 14th on QVC2 and March 30th on QVC. QVC Strengthens Accessible, Adaptive Offerings – Sourcing Journal

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