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An Extra Large Error in Judgement?

Posted on: May 16th, 2013 by Amy

errorYou can’t help but wonder what Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries was thinking when he made the following remarks as to why his stores don’t sell women’s size XL clothing:

“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.”

This quote was pulled from a 2006 Salon.com interview that resurfaced last week and went viral, garnering angry reactions from many people. For example, Greg Karber, a Los Angeles filmmaker, made a short documentary  called #FitchTheHomeless, in which he visited Goodwill stores searching for Abercrombie & Fitch clothing to buy. Then he gave the clothes away to homeless people and shelters, saying he was “rebranding” the company.

Whether your kids are Abercrombie & Fitch fans or not, they may have something to say about this brewing controversy. Here are some questions to get your discussion started:

  • Why do you think so many people are upset by what Mr. Jeffries said? Does it upset you and, if yes, what bothers you most about it?
  • How do you define the word “cool?”
  • What would you want to say to Mr. Jeffries if you could?
  • What do you think of Greg Karber’s video? Some people have said that it’s insulting to homeless people. Do you think so? Or do you think it sends a positive message?
  • Does the company’s exclusionary marketing strategy influence your choice to shop/not shop at Abercrombie & Fitch? Why or why not?

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