Blog: Abercrombie & Fitch under fire over plus-sizes

Katie Smith | 20 May 2013

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries has come under fire over the issue of plus-sized clothing - or lack of it in the case of this teen apparel retailer.

In an interview with Salon magazine eight years ago, Jeffries said: "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."

But now the retailer's stand against plus-sized shoppers wearing its clothes because they don't fit with the brand's image has led to an online petition with more than 7,000 supporters. 

The controversial issue was reignited last week by Robin Lewis, co-author of The New Rules of Retail. According to a report in Business Insider, Lewis will no longer allow her children to shop at Abercrombie & Fitch anymore, because it does not stock women's clothing above a size 10. 

The retailer's policy of no plus-sized clothing appears to be paying off, though, after it more than tripled its fourth-quarter profit to US$157.2m. Sales rose 11% to $1.47bn for the 14 weeks to 2 February, from $1.33bn in the same period last year.


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