Abercrombie & Fitch Not Stocking Larger Sizes For Women « CBS San Francisco. The video link was shown on KPIX in San Francisco on May 8, 2013. This video lasts 2:21. There is a fire-storm that is continuing to brew. Thanks to an article published on Business Insider on May 3, 2013, written by Ashley Lutz, the remarks of Abercrombie and Fitch CEO, Mike Jeffries, seemed to confirm what had previously been known but never publicly expressed, that Abercrombie and Fitch do not want overweight women in their stores (overweight men are okay because they could possibly be wrestlers or football players). In fact, there are no sizes above 10 for women, either in their stores or in their catalogs. Whether you think this is correct, take for instance, their main competitors, all carry X-large or 2XL.
But behind this policy, represents the attitude of CEO Jeffries and this had previously been published in an article in Salon, in 2006. Probably his most inflammatory comment was this: “In every school there are cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. 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.” It feels like you are going to visit a preppy Fraternity or Sorority as a Freshman in college. Maybe they should have ropes and bouncers with weight scales outside all of their stores.
Another comment from Abercrombie and Fitch’s CEO – The business is built around sex appeal. “It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that,” said Jeffries. By excluding people who wear larger than size 10, I surmise that Mr. Jeffries thinks that this group can neither be popular nor good-looking.
The Salon article did bring up a couple of previous controversies to which Mr. Jeffries responded to. One example was the time that Abercrombie and Fitch made thongs for middle school girls which had “Eye Candy” and “Wink Wink” on their fronts. Jeffries responded, “That was a bunch of bullshit… I still think they were cute underwear for little girls.” The second example was ‘A & F Quarterly” which boasted articles of orgies and pictures of chiseled mostly white all-American boys and girls (but mostly boys) cavorting naked on horses, beaches, etc. The American Decency Association called for a boycott of A & F. ‘A & F Quarterly’ discontinued its publication in 2003. And, of course, A & F constantly gets flak for their semi-naked images on the store fronts, their garment bags and in their commercials.
My Personal Feeling on Abercrombie and Fitch
My personal feeling on Abercrombie and Fitch is based on my research over the past two years. I have visited many different and various stores to determine how much “Made in USA” clothing is within stores. Over the two years, I have visited Abercrombie and Fitch three times, I made three separate trips at different locations at different times. When I enter the store, I am usually not greeted by their apathetic “good-looking” staff, because I don’t fit their demographic of pre-teen. But, then I could be shopping for my kids, or my nephew, and usually I am dressed ten times better than the staff, still, I am usually left alone for a prolonged time. (Tip for older people on a budget – next Christmas when you are shopping for your pre-teen relatives, go to Abercrombie and Fitch and wear baggy clothes, take as much…time as you want). Oh, regarding my quest for “Made in USA” clothing – absolutely zero. That is right- zippo. No clothes “Made in USA” at A & F, nor it’s poorer sister store, Hollister. So, I already have recommended that Abercrobie and Fitch is a definite ‘No Go’. Now, that A & F discriminates against heavier women in public (that is the actual crime that it has been said in public), my recommendation has changed from ‘No Go’ to ‘Boycott.’