Abercrombie & Fitch Will Sell Larger Sizes After Plus-Size Controversy

11/06/2013 at 02:29 PM ET

Abercrombie & Fitch plus sizeHannes Magerstaedt/Getty

Abercrombie & Fitch (and its CEO Mike Jeffries) drew fire this summer when anti-plus size comments Jeffries made a few years ago were picked up in the press. But despite its “cool kids only” marketing strategy, the company has been suffering this year with major drops in its stock prices and in-store sales as teens abandoned the brand in droves.

And though Jeffries refused to back down from his marketing targeted “at a particular segment of customers,” Abercrombie & Fitch announced today at an analyst briefing that they would, in fact, be expanding their size range to include sizes larger than a 10 or an L, in an attempt to stem their financial bleeding.

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In a 2006 Salon interview, Jeffries defended the company’s policy of selling only certain sizes. “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he said. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids … A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

Now, according to Reuters, the brand will not only be selling a wider range of sizes and fits, but they will also be trying to expand their accessories and shoe lines to get more people in the door. They’re also closing their standalone Gilly Hicks lingerie stores and making changes to the stores of their sister brand, Hollister.

What do you think of Abercrombie & Fitch’s turnaround on the matter? Will you shop there with the expanded size range?

–Alex Apatoff

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Showing 99 comments

Miriam on

Too little, too late.

Lauren on

Ah, behold the death throes of the A&F brand.
Their plummeting stocks have nothing to do with their lack of larger sizes. They were going out of style when I was in high school 10 years ago. Frankly, I’m shocked they’ve managed to stay afloat this long.

LMarie on

I sincerely hope that the kids he excluded and offended continue to steer clear of this man’s “brand”. He makes no apologies about being exclusionary, so why should they flock to his store just because he’s being forced to sell larger clothing? Let his company continue to have a downfall in sales!

guesttttt on

I wish they would go out of business.

Kay on

I won’t forgive them that quickly. First they will need to do a lot of apologizing and make up for the exclusionary policy

Emma on

Here is what I don’t get… They don’t want your money, yet people are angry at them for not giving them options to spend their money on.

If they didn’t want to carry these sizes, than fine. That is money they aren’t getting. The disdain they have shown for people who do not fit their ideal figure makes me wonder why anyone who falls into that category would want to purchase these clothes.

Carrie M on

Nice CEO. Not. I would advise all “non cool kids” to stay the heck away!

SoNotHollywood on

When I was skinnier, I loved A&F clothes. I was a teen, it’s what was cool. Now, occasionally I will buy some things from Hollister (if I’m in the next city over that has the store) but for the most part American Eagle is more inclusive. Their sizes go to 18 for women (not sure for men) and XL. Plus, they are more wallet-friendly. In Lawrence, KS (KU) the A&F store closed not long after an American Eagle store opened. Coincidence? I’m all for being healthy and getting to a weight that is not harmful to your health, but it doesn’t happen overnight and if you’re happy at your current size, why should you be excluded from having fashionable clothes? I will still probably never shop A&F again simply because they made the dumb move in the first place. As was mentioned, too little, too late.

gigi on

This is lame. Why would anyone want to buy their products when they are so obviously negative. I wouldn’t go where I wasn’t wanted… nor where anyone I cared about wasn’t wanted. Do they really think they are going to get people in there now?

Nicole on

I still don’t understand why people were so upset about what he said but nobody is boycotting Lane Bryant. Isn’t it the same idea?

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