Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries in hot water over lack of plus sizes
Abercrombie’s pointed snub of all but the most attractive and slim customers has attracted the eye of the website Business Insider ... and created a storm on social media! Take a look!
- BI pointed out in an article this week that Abercrombie doesn’t stock plus sizes for their women’s clothing -- in contrast with a competitor for the dollars of the teen set, H&M, which does stock extra-large sizes for young ladies.
- Abercrombie wouldn’t comment to BI on their sizing policies, but retail analyst Robin Lewis was happy to dish about the philosophy of the retailer and its CEO, Mike Jeffries.
- " He doesn't want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people. ... He doesn't want his core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they're one of the 'cool kids.'"
While Abercrombie offers larger sizes in their men’s clothing, that’s likely so they don’t lose the business of beefy football players and wrestlers, Lewis told BI.
- Jeffries (pictured here in 2006) has been open in the past about his "mean girl" philosophy of retail.
- In a 2006 interview with Salon, he was quoted as saying:
“We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either. ”
- I remember emailing that Salon story around with outraged comments with all my friends (this was before Facebook really got big). Our outrage really didn’t make any impact on Abercrombie’s behavior then - but that was before social media exploded in importance to brands. I wonder if Abercrombie will decide to reform its ways this time around?
- The reaction on social media this week has been as brutal as a sharp shove into a line of school lockers. Just today, I spotted a number of catty comebacks ... and honestly, I think Abercrombie deserves them.
- Many are trying to give CEO Jeffries a taste of what they see as his own medicine - body shaming and mockery.
- Several more examples of the negative comments you're making:
- And there's more than one comment suggesting to me that, maybe, Abercrombie isn't running with the cool kids anymore. They may be moving to the loser-lunch-table area of the mall.
- I didn't find one person defending the chain.
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