Thursday, May 16, 2013

on Abercrombie

Mega-retailer Abercrombie and Fitch is in the news this week (and last week, too, but I haven't had a chance to blog about it) for some crazy soundbites from 2006.  The CEO said in a magazine interview:

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids.  Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

To some degree (and I may get some flak for saying this) I understand that as a business model.  Each brand (fashion or otherwise) has a target audience, and while I would say that many of the targets are - publicly atleast -  less asshole-ish, they have them nonetheless.  And while I find the tactic deplorable, they have gone after the "cool kids" to try to hit the trendsetters, all the while carving out a significant slice of the market.

So the quote about didn't bother me as much as the other things I've learned about the brand.  Did you know that women's sizes only go up to a size L or pants size 10 (because, explicitly or implicitly, you're not cool if you wear a larger women's size)?  Did you know that unlike other major US retailers, they don't donate their un-sold clothing, but instead they destroy it (because poor people aren't as "cool")?

I can ignore a CEO with a big mouth and dumb ideas.  I can also take my business elsewhere.  I will never, ever shop at AF.  And I will encourage everyone in my life to do the same.

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