CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch refuses to market to larger women

Retail CEO won't cater to larger women

Not a size 2?  Don't have washboard abs?  Then Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries says don't bother shopping in his stores.

The head of the apparel store set off a firestorm following an article on the Business Insider.  The website interviewed Robin Lewis, the co-author of The New Rules of Retail.

Lewis says Abercrombie is all about sex appeal.  He says Jeffries is only interested in attracting beautiful people into his stores and wearing their clothes.

Abercrombie doesn't offer women's sizes in XL or XXL and the largest women's pants size is a 10.  The store does carry XL and XXL for men, but Jeffries says that's to appeal to muscular athletes.

In a 2006 interview with Salon, Jeffries talked about the company's marketing strategy.

"We want to market to cool, good-looking people," he said.  "We don't market to anyone other than that."

He went on to say he doesn't make any apologies for their narrow customer target.

"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."

While some retail experts would argue Abercrombie might hurt itself in the long-run by not making clothes for curvy people. Lewis says the company probably won't change it's marketing plans.

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