Unlike competitors American Eagle and H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch does not carry women’s size XL in its stores. A 2006 interview with the CEO of the clothing company, Mike Jeffries, has recently resurfaced — in which he explains that he hasn’t expanded his sizes like his competitors, because he does not want fat, uncool, or unpopular people wearing the brand.
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are
the not-so-cool kids,” he told Salon.com. “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.”
This recently caught the attention of Robin Lewis, author of “The New Rules of Retail.” In a Business Insider interview, Lewis said that Jeffries doesn’t want fat people to be seen in his stores, because he feels it’ll bring down the brand. “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,” explains Lewis.
The Abercrombie CEO doesn’t mind leaving out the “uncool” kids.
“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,” he says.