Thursday, May 09, 2013

Abercrombie & Fitch - Evil or Too Honest?

Have you heard all of the uproar generated by the statements made by Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries?  I did and at this point I find it all very amusing.

If you didn't hear about it, Mr. Jeffries essentially told Business Insider that Abercrombie & Fitch does not sell to fat people and he only wants thin, attractive, and popular people to work in his store.  And boy was there backlash!

My immediate thought was, 'this guy is a total jackass!'.  Such a statement is pure arrogance and insensitive.  But as I began to think about it, my thoughts changed. Are we angry that this is their policy, or are we angry that he admitted it?

If you really think about it, his policy is not new in the retail clothing industry.  Seriously!  If you are husky, like myself, how many items of clothing have you purchased from Calvin Klein or Banana Republic?  These stores are also higher end fashionable clothing retailers.  My joke has always been that I cannot shop at Banana Republic because I'm not a flamboyant skinny dude.  And have you ever seen a fat person working at Calvin Klein?  Of course not!  Clothing stores hate short husky people.  If that wasn't the case, then why do they put the pants that fit us at the top of the shelves that we cannot reach, and the pants for the tall people at the bottom that they can easily reach?

Is there anything wrong with this policy?  Big and Tall doesn't cater to short and skinny people. Are short and skinny people fired up about that?  Is it a social violation to cater to a niche in society?  Or is the violation that they admitted that they cater to this niche in society?

What was most entertaining to me were the comments on Facebook. "This is outrageous!"  "Oh, the arrogance!"  "Let's boycott Abercrombie & Fitch." The last one was my favorite.  Most of my friends are middle aged men and women in their 30's and 40's with children.  Admittedly, we are the not people in the best of shape.  Are these people really shopping at Abercrombi & Fitch?  Would their boycott really be effective, or are they boycotting them already by the simple fact that A&F doesn't sell clothes for the average mommy anyway?  That'd be like me saying I'm going to boycott Ferrari.  Was I really in that market in the first place?

The second point is that they stated that they won't hire fatties and uglies to work there.  When you're going to a store like A&F, you're subscribing to an image.  Do you want the people that are pushing that image to be people that you DON'T want to look like?  You want to buy from people that you want to emulate.  You want to look like ripped Robert, not muffin-top Misty.

Is it a crime to discriminate against ugly or fat people?  Nope.  Is it immoral or unethical?  You could argue that.  But most members of Congress have done something immoral or unethical, and we keep putting them back in office.  So wouldn't that make us hypocrites?

Is Abercrombie & Fitch evil?  What do you think?

1 comment:

cmct999 said...

A&F is no more evil than any other business. Just like any other company they have a business model and a target market. Now given the increasing rates of obesity in this country they may have to reconsider that strategy as their market shrinks, but for now they run a very successful business. Isn't that what a free market is all about?

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