Should A&F Court Girls Its CEO Finds Unattractive?
Abercrombie & Fitch has a business philosophy that refutes the notion that beauty is more than skin deep.
A new book, The New Rules of Retail, by Robin Lewis and Michael Dart has reminded people that A&F CEO Mike Jeffries is interested in clothing as many beautiful, thin, young people in the chain’s fashions as he can. While he has no problem with making XL and XXL sizes available to those of the male jock persuasion, he absolutely will not offer larger sizes for women.
"It’s almost everything," Mr. Jeffries told Salon in 2006, referring to physical attractiveness. "That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that."
As several articles pointed out, A&F’s refusal to sell women’s jeans above a size 10 (the national average is size 13) runs contrary to some of the chain’s competitors, including Aeropostale, American Eagle and H&M.
Ms. Lewis, called Mr. Jeffries "a brilliant visionary," but questioned whether his branding will serve A&F well in a changing consumer marketplace.
"I think the young people today want cool," Ms. Lewis told ABC News, "but as they define it themselves."
- The man behind Abercrombie & Fitch – Salon
- Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries Does Not Want Fat Women Wearing His Clothes – International Design Times
- Abercrombie & Fitch targets skinny shoppers, won’t sell larger sizes for plus-sized women – New York Daily News
- Small Sizes an Overweight Distraction for Abercrombie & Fitch – ABC News
- Abercrombie & Fitch Management Discusses Q4 2012 Results (Earnings Call Transcript) – Seeking Alpha
Does not selling products for larger women help or hurt Abercrombie & Fitch’s brand reputation and sales performance? Is there anything you would do differently than Mike Jeffries if you were running A&F?