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Abercrombie CEO: No large women allowed


Photo: Abercrombie & Fitch

The CEO of teen clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch doesn’t want large women wearing his clothes. That’s why the store doesn’t carry anything larger than a size 10, or any  extra-large sizes — at least that’s what Robin Lewis, co-author of “The New Rules of Retail” said in a recent interview with Business Insider about CEO Mike Jeffries.

From the interview: “He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis told Business Insider. “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.’”

What, have the mean girls from high school morphed into a man now running an international clothing company? That’s seems like an excellent way to alienate customers (as if it isn’t off putting enough walking into the Fashion Fair Abercrombie’s dark entrance flanked by half naked boys that my 30-something self shouldn’t even be looking at).

The retailer offers XL and XXL sizes of men’s clothing mind you, but Lewis says that’s because he likely wants to appeal to beefy athletes. Apparently the CEO has never heard of a female athlete. Nor an ugly thin person.

So what do you think, shoppers? Will this make you stop shopping there? Any nuggets of truth to this way of doing business?


Responses to "Abercrombie CEO: No large women allowed"

Brad says:

The more things change….
Full figured ladies obviously have no money to spend on expensive clothing, or have any sense of style, or any self-esteem for that matter. Junior high dictums still rule. Vote with your checkbooks, folks.

Delaine Zody says:

Never shopped there; never will. Not the target market. It’s all about marketing and it works. That’s all that matters to A&F.

Heather P says:

As a very plus-size myself, I can tell pretty quickly which retailers want my money and which don’t. And A&F is just one of many, MANY who don’t. The difference is that their CEO is kooky enough to actually say it. (He’s never really hidden it. . . these quotes date back to 2006 and further, I believe. The guy was also sued for discrimination when it was revealed that he only hires male models to steward the company jet.).

As shallow, ridiculous, and retrograde as I believe Mike Jeffries’ values are, he is very successful at marketing to people who want to reflect that aesthetic. That wasn’t me in 1996 when I was a size 8 and it isn’t me now. My lack of interest in A&F as a retailer has always had far more to do with them turning me off intellectually than them turning me away physically.

Ranae says:

Even though my kids were able to wear and afford A&F clothes, this is one store I will not shop at. This store sends out the wrong messages.

e. field says:

…I think the guy’s remarks, ethic, and (dreadful) reasoning are an easy target…

And that target has been pulling in droves,
-for years-
who feel the same way, buy his stuff, who support and ascribe to the same image.
-So all this:
Free Advertising that authenticates the goal:
‘-…be slim and beautiful enough to wear A&F…’

But, who’s more wrong…
-this guy?
Or the people who knowingly go after this ideal, and see it as ‘winning’… ?

I can actually see this causing a rise in sales, sorry to say.

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