Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, has been under scrutiny for his company's decision to not sell any women's clothes in sizes above large as well as some of his comments about who the intended demographic of the clothing company is.
According to Business Insider, the reason for not stocking these sizes comes down to Jeffries simply not wanting larger people to wear his clothes. Robin Lewis, co-author of "The New Rules of Retail" explained the way the CEO thinks.
"He doesn't want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people," Lewis said. "He doesn't want his core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they're one of the 'cool kids.'"
When asked for an official reason for not selling women's pants over size 10 an Abercrombie & Fitch spokeswoman gave no answer, according to Business Insider.
In a 1996 interview with Salon Jeffries was upfront when discussing who the company is aimed to.
"In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids," Jeffries said. "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. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don't alienate anybody, but you don't excite anybody, either."
Jeffries explained to Salon the role that sexual attractiveness plays for Abercrombie.
"It's almost everything. That's why we hire good-looking people in our stores," Jeffries said. "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."
Plus sized customers account for two thirds of the apparel buying market, according to Business Insider. One would think that Abercrombie would want to tap into a market of that size. For now it looks as if the company has no intentions of catering to plus size customers.
As long as Abercrombie's profits continue to be large Jeffries can make sure that none of his customers are.