By now news of Abercrombie and Fitch's refusal to sell clothing to anyone who wears a size 10 or larger has spread. In the past 24 hours, Abercrombie and Fitch's social media sites have been bombarded with a thousands of angry comments. Former loyal customers are lashing out at the multimillion dollar company; angry at the discriminatory statements made by the CEO.
Here are a few of the comments I snagged from their Facebook page.
"NEVER going into A&F again, LOST a customer. I have a daughter that is a size 3, but because of this store's corporate BS about larger sizes, she will not be allowed to go into your store or make a purchase from your store and any further gifts from this store will be returned. I will no longer buy my nephew anything out of this store again. My other daughter is a size 18 and I will NOT have her discriminated against. You all should watch the movie Shallow Hal and take notes."
" Your company is absolutely disgusting.The comments made by your CEO were so asinine. I cant even go into your store without getting a headache it smells so bad. But now I wouldnt wear any of your clothing even if it was purchased at a thrift store. I hope to raise my children to know their self worth isn't measured by what kind of clothing they are wearing or people around them. Shame on you."
In case you missed all the hubbub, allow me to give you a snippet from an interview conducted in 2006 with Abercrombie and Fitch's CEO, Mike Jeffries.
"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,' he explained 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....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."
I'm going to allow a few moments for you guys to let that statement marinate for a while...
Honestly, I can't say I'm particularly surprised about this "revelation". In fact, my Persuasion course this semester has made me acutely aware of the various tactics that advertisers use to appeal to their target demographics. However, those tactics are typically discussed in quiet boardroom meetings. As a rule of thumb, most CEO's tend to keep their discriminatory statements to themselves. Apparently Jeffries didn't get the memo.
These statements only reinforces my distain for this company and others like it. The companies that send the message that in order to be considered attractive you have to be a size 2 or smaller. The companies that send the message that if you are unattractive, or a minority, you are not welcome.
I'm not sure about you guys, but I will take great pleasure in watching their stock plummet daily until Abercrombie and Fitch is no more than a case study that young marketing students refer to as a cautionary tale.
So what do you guys think of this whole situation with Abercrombie and Fitch? Do you shop there frequently? Will you continue to do so? Sound off in the comment section below.
Photo cred) businessinsider