Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why did Abercrombie & Fitch start selling ‘fat girl’ clothes?” you ask? Good question. Very timely too. (Besides, it beats answering the question: “Why aren’t analgesics taken rectally?”)
For those of you who missed it, in May 2013, teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch and its CEO Mike Jeffries came under fire for not stocking XL or XXL sizes in women’s clothing because they reportedly “don’t want overweight women wearing their brand.” Snopes confirmed that (until recently) the company had “insisted on sticking to its guns regarding notions of conventional beauty” regardless of the fact that we live in an overly-PC era where those standards have (to some) become outdated.
Until this past spring the company made it clear “it wants the ‘cool kids’ as customers and didn’t consider plus-sized gals a part of the cool crowd. Perhaps they started selling “fat girl” clothes because Jeffries changed his attitude?
That seems strange considering his personal beliefs regarding the company marketing strategy. He said: “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. 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 Abercrombie & Fitch), and they can’t belong.”
According to sources such as People, however, this year Abercrombie & Fitch “has been suffering this year with major drops in its stock prices and in-store sales as teens abandoned the brand in droves.
Jeffries still believes that selling to everyone would hurt Abercrombie & Fitch. He stated: “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.”
So why has Abercrombie & Fitch started selling “fat girl” clothes? Reuters in fact confirmed your rockin’ writer’s suspicions. They announced expanding their size ranges this past spring solely as “an attempt to stem their financial bleeding. “ Bottom line, to paraphrase Jessie J it’s “all about the money, money, money.
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