Recently, there has been SO MUCH uproar about Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO Michael Jeffries’ response to why they don’t sell clothing larger than a size 10, that I was compelled to write about it.
First of all, let’s put the graphic up on the board.
All douchebaggery aside, the dude was giving an honest answer. I can’t fault him for his honesty. Do I think that what he said was appropriate? I’m not sure. I’m not sure, because he was being honest – and we need more of that in the world. I do, however, feel he’s being short-sighted, but whatevs.
Here’s the deal. I have never shopped at Abercrombie & Fitch. Shopping there holds no interest for me. I don’t like wearing t-shirts emblazoned with store logos plastered all over the front of them. Those few times I was at a mall and approachied an A&F, the music was so blasted loud that I hurried past just to save my ears – and that is coming from ME, someone who gets told that I play my music so loud in my car that people hear me coming. The difference is: I like my music and I don’t care for what they played in the store.
Let’s recap. I don’t care for the clothing. I don’t like their choice in music. I just don’t care for their whole “culture” of a brand. It’s not me. I don’t care that the largest size they carry is a 10 and that’s what I wear. Reading that quote doesn’t make my feelings change one way or another. I am not infuriated to the point of boycotting the store. Why? Because I never shopped there in the first place.
Listen, I’m not gonna lie to you, I can get really worked up over environmental issues, women’s and equal rights issues, political issues…. but this whole Michael Jeffries’ thing is none of those. It’s about people taking offence to a truthful, albeit jackass, response to a marketing strategy question. Now, people who haven’t shopped at A&F before are jumping on the Boycott Bandwagon even though they never would have considered shopping at the stores in the first place. It’s a delusion of entitlement.
People feel like they are entitled to go wherever and do whatever whenever they want. Welcome to the Real World. It doesn’t work like that and all y’all need to just get over yourselves. There are more important bandwagons to jump on that actually do some good.
To Abercrombie & Fitch, live long and prosper. You didn’t miss my business in the past, you won’t miss it in the future. Your marketing strategy appears to be working and I’m not “your customer”. You don’t want me. I’m probably not hot enough and for all I know, your size 10 jeans run small, so I’ll be too big. I’m also too old. I’m guessing that I’m about 20 years older than your “average” customer.
Also, hooray for me! I have developed the wisdom to not worry about clothing brands.
How about you? Are you outraged over this remark? Were you a customer, but have now changed your mind? Were you never a customer before but are now boycotting A&F? How do you really feel about Michael Jeffries response?
UPDATE! Shortly after posting this, Erika Napoletano uploaded her response on this subject to YouTube. HILARIOUS!
I have to admire the guys moxie for saying it the way it is. It makes no difference either way to me. It is a marketing strategy and nothing more. If anything the press and the bleeding hearts have just made the AF shoppers even more self important. That is there tribe just like Harley riders are the Harley tribe and I doubt I would see some Yamaha or Suzuki being sold at our local Harley dealer. Is that discriminatory? No, because nobody bitched about it yet.
HA! Very true! The motorcycle we had was a Suzuki, but you know what – I never felt discriminated against by the Harley crowd. They still waved in passing on the road, true bikers are an accepting group.
Unlike, apparently, Abercrombie & Fitch. 😉
I give the dude credit for being honest and open. I’ll provide you with a wider argument: In today’s society we feel entitled to have everything our way. And in this particular case, clothing. If you don’t like the store, company policies, blah blah etc? Simply don’t shop there. I’ll leave you with a top tip for all the A&F peeps getting in a fuss over this: Buy local and support your local thrift store.
Amen! I love thrift shopping!
Honestly, I see a lot of A&F clothing on the racks AT thrift stores. I still don’t buy it.
Right there with you and you bring up a great point: Why pay new prices when you can go thrift shopping and most likely find the same item, cheaper? I hope you have a great day today, take care!
Wow. I’m not offended, exactly, but I am a bit disgusted by the lack of sensitivity in the statement. You could just say, our target demographic is a size ten or smaller and be done with it. Also, that thing about only hiring good-looking staff – isn’t that illegal?
I’m in Wisconsin which is an “At Will” state for employers – you can be fired for any reason at any time. The question is – how can you prove discrimination? Sure, they only hire “good looking” people, but that’s subjective and as long as they qualify to perform the duties required – they can hire who they deem fits the description best.
I’m a big fan of Erika Napoletano and she JUST posted this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HY5FP9HDdc
While I give him credit for being honest — I mean, I’m a size 10 and have never once been even remotely popular — it still stings a bit. (Maybe he’s bringing up old junior high wounds? Hmmmm.) That said, though, I’m completely with you in the non-boycott. I shopped there once in 1999, and I haven’t been back since (the loud music, overpowering cologne, and presence of the exact sort of people who made my life miserable when I was growing up combine into a cocktail of powerful deterrents). So…I’m never going there again! 😉
I agree that there is still a bit of sting left from not being “popular”, but being older, I appreciate CHARACTER much more than “popularity”.
I completely forgot about the cologne!!! You’re RIGHT – clouds of that stuff pour out with the loud music. Ugh.
Give me a thrift store any day.
I’m glad I never tried to set foot in one of their stores.
I always had a hunch I’d get thrown out for being or not being this that or the other thing.
Probably for being too cool. 😉
Great post! Not much I can add to what’s already been commented on by you and others. I don’t buy that he’s totally speaking off the cuff – I think that his statement might be part of the overall marketing plan in some weird meta- kinda thing. Either way, they don’t get my money now so I cann’t really complain.
Do Hipsters shop at A&F?
I kid! I kid!!
Okay… really? Where DO Hipsters shop? Cause if you say “Thrift stores” – that makes me a Hipster.
Haha!! Yeah, ur a hipster. We also shop at Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Ragstock, and H&M.
I used to get everything from Banana Republic when I worked in an office. Yet another reason why working from home is awesome – cheaper clothes. Ragstock is basically like a thrift store. H&M is cheap too.
OMG! I’m a Hipster!!! *squeals* That mean’s I’m cool, right? *crosses my fingers*
I haven’t ever shopped at those other places… I have, however, walked past them. Maybe the Hipsterness wafted over me… like a virus. “We’ve run every test available, Sarah, and…. you have ‘Hipster’. There is no known cure at this time.”
Hipsters obviously wear yoga pants, too, cause that’s what I have on right now, and I’m a Hipster.
It is a right business decision to target a specific market segment and focus your efforts and resources to get the most of it. Everybody can have an opinion but if it works for him so be it. There is room for everyone in this world still.
Like you said he is being honest which is a good thing but has absolutely no tact expressing himself. Being a nudist I do not really care much about clothes 😉
Well that’s true, nudists really don’t care about clothes (although it seemed on the cruise that fetish-wear was all the rage – those are kind of like clothes, right?).
Good point. I’m mot a fan of “Theme Nights” only If it’s Adam and Eve night 🙂
HA! You rebel! The theme nights weren’t bad – great people watching.
I guess the thing for me is this: he’s honest, but that doesn’t make him any less of a jackass. And based on what I’ve read of him, this guy sounds too akin to American Apparel’s Dov Charney for me to want to give him any of my money.
But here’s the thing–he and A&F thrive on controversy. This is just the latest one they’ve stirred up. The tactic is a new one, but the strategy is the same.
Agreed! I do recall the controversy over the models in their ads a year or two ago.