As many of us may recall, around last May popular clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch came under fire for some comments that their eccentric CEO made about the people whom his company markets its clothing to. The CEO said that his company markets to “cool”, attractive young adults and teenagers. In other words, the person that comes to mind when you think about the “popular kids” from your high school days. The CEO even said “Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” Now the reason that overweight people in particular are upset, is because they are clearly the demographic that the company excludes. Abercrombie’s clothes do not exceed a size L for women’s tops or size 10 for women’s jeans. The largest pants size for men is 36 x 32.
If you just google “Abercrombie hates fat people” or something to that extent, you’ll see dozens of internet bloggers talking about how mean and evil the company is for embracing such a policy. Some people even started a campaign where they bought Abercrombie clothes and handed them out to homeless people, as a way of sticking it to the company so to speak, given the fact that they are also a luxury brand (after all, what better way is there to stick it to a large corporation than giving them your money?).
The entire controversy surrounding this is absurd. Companies market to certain demographics all of the time, and this is no different. I am a 5’4” guy. Do you know how many clothing stores market to adult men my size? Not very many. But I understand that some companies have marketing strategies that involve focusing on certain demographics, and I’m okay with that. I don’t furiously blog on the internet about how Big & Tall stores for men are evil and discriminatory. If you don’t want to shop there because of their marketing strategy, that’s fine. Part of our economic system consists of companies making decisions based off of consumer reactions to what they do. If consumers really don’t like what a company is doing, the company will (probably) stop doing it. But seeing as how in the 2012-2013 year, A&F received over $1 billion more in revenue than it’s main competitor American Eagle, I see no reason why they should change their strategy for the sake of a demographic that they just aren’t concerned with.