Abercrombie & Fitch decided to stick their judgmental branch into the dark void of nothing in an effort to boost sales. Remember back in 2006 when Mike Jeffries CEO of A&F became the world’s most hated business man? Yes, many do. Jeffries had a sit down with Salon magazine and bragged on how his company targets only the cool kids. The cool kids, suggested Jeffries were not old, not fat and only provided beautiful looks. Since that time, Abercrombie & Fitch has been hit with struggling sales. Now, seven years from that comment, Jeffries is experiencing the healthy taste of feet, as his company looks to brand a plus-sized clothing line for women.
Last week, stocks for the ailing brand plummeted nearly 14 percent, demanding executives to redevelop their goals to seek a sales boost. Leslee Herro, the head of A&F’s planning and allocation department spearheaded the project. She knows the way to boost sales is to target the gender that does a majority of the shopping; women. In addition, Jeffries is looking to clean up a serious mound of bad press, he took to Facebook earlier this year to clear up a certain issue:
With the introduction of plus-sized choices many consumers may be on the fence for an easy embracing. The move comes across as a desperate play for sales,
resulting in anger for the few consumers spoken to this evening on the changes. Other users on the company’s Facebook page were not as kind, calling the company “overpriced,” “racist” and “pathetic.” Considering sales are decreasing for the once in-demand brand, a seven year late apology seems to be doing little for the consumers who were outraged regarding the commentary.
The changes coming to the locations will include larger top sizes for women only, at this time, and an expansive shoe selection. Reaching out to some of the readers and informing them of the change resulted in the following responses from former and current shoppers:
This takes some audacity! Here is a company that had kids like mine wanting to shop there for their overpriced crap. Then their CEO who looks like a ‘what not to do’ plastic surgery mess, comes out and slams kids that aren’t cool? I’ll stick to H&M. – Liza B.
This is too embarrassing to acknowledge. The company is desperate and now they are looking to reach out to the same demographic they painted into a bad light. Remember the rumor Hilfiger didn’t want black people wearing his clothes? That came out as a myth and he still admitted it hurt sales! Abercrombie & Fitch admitting this mess? Good luck. – Cristal N.
I wear their stuff but a lot and I mean a lot of my friends stopped. They were pretty po’d and joined the protest in Columbus earlier this year. His comments were dumb and probably taken out of context but even coming close to saying that stuff is stupid. Who cares what people look like? There’s like hundreds of other stores and he should have considered that. – Tony B.
The one saving grace for many is the fact Abercrombie & Fitch is willing to admit a mistake and provide a response. By opening a market that other high-end retailers are merely considering. Previously, it was complicated to locate a large within the mini aisles of an A&F store. The move looks to gain approval and for many more it will become accepted to check out the stock. Herro states the plus-sized line will hit sometime early spring for all locations.
Stores like Debenhams based in the UK, are not only touting larger sizes but they also made waves for displaying shapely sized 16 mannequins. Many retailers do not go beyond a size 12 mannequin, marking Debenhams as a leader in the arena of full figure fashion. Considering A&F’s past of wrong commentary and now entering the double digits arena, will they also sport shapely models? Only time will tell if consumers will accept A&F’s mistakes and the CEO commentary to visit the store and check out their plus-sized choices.
By Angelina Bouc