Feature

A retail bully gets its comeuppance

Abercrombie & Fitch is “a schoolyard bully”

Tom Keane
The Boston Globe

Abercrombie & Fitch is “a schoolyard bully,” said Tom Keane. Finally, it’s taking the heat it has long deserved for a marketing strategy that intentionally excludes bigger or overweight customers. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids,” CEO Michael Jeffries said in a quote that recently resurfaced. “Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” If you want to see A&F’s attitude in action, look at its sizing charts: The store refuses to carry women’s clothes in size XL or pant sizes above 10, when the American woman’s average size is 14 (it carries men’s sizes up to XXL). This misguided strategy “legitimizes that worst of adolescent rites: the creation of cliques.” A&F’s self-proclaimed role as the arbiter of what’s cool is “so over-the-top as to seem absurd,” but the controversy has forced even kids “to think hard about the pressures under which we put girls.” And Abercrombie seems to be paying the price: Sales and stock prices are plunging. Jeffries, whose position is now rumored to be in jeopardy, apparently made “one critical miscalculation.” In his arrogance, he seems to have missed that “for many of today’s teens, one thing that is not cool is making fun of others.”

Recommended

ISIS confirms its leader was killed, does not provide details
A militant is seen holding the flag of ISIS in 2015.
Another One Gone

ISIS confirms its leader was killed, does not provide details

Court rejects plan by Dutch national park to control wolf population with paintballs
A European grey wolf seen in the Netherlands.
Not A Great Idea

Court rejects plan by Dutch national park to control wolf population with paintballs

French baguette awarded UNESCO heritage status
French Baguettes
rising to the top

French baguette awarded UNESCO heritage status

2 Chinese cities ease COVID-19 restrictions as protesters pledge to continue
Officials test pedestrians in China for COVID-19.
Making Changes

2 Chinese cities ease COVID-19 restrictions as protesters pledge to continue

Most Popular

World's 1st hydrogen-powered jet engine could mark turning point for aviation industry
A Rolls-Royce engine seen during an airshow.
Flying High

World's 1st hydrogen-powered jet engine could mark turning point for aviation industry

Everything to know about the storm poised to pummel the South
Tornado
Storm Watch

Everything to know about the storm poised to pummel the South

Why did Merrick Garland appoint a special counsel to investigate Trump?
Trump, Garland, and Smith.
Briefing

Why did Merrick Garland appoint a special counsel to investigate Trump?