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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.

RELATED PHOTOS: See Channing Tatum, Jennifer Lawrence and more stars as A&F models!

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 97 comments

Haley on

Honestly if you’re offended by them not selling bigger sizes, maybe you should lose weight and quit complaining. Those who can fit into smaller sizes don’t go and complain about stores that only sell to those who are larger. And who cares if it’s meant for ‘popular’ kids, maybe you all should get over it and grow up.

Regina on

I absolutely would NEVER purchase any items from this so called company. What a disgrace!!!! Are they that ignorant to realize that the “not so cool kids’ usually turn out to be more successful and the ‘cool kids’ end up flipping burgers somewhere!!!

Gisella on

I would rather go without any clothes at all than to ever wear their ugly clothing. Its ugly on the outside as well as the inside.

Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever.

J on

I hope they go bankrupt!!!!!!!!!

Chris on

This news is actually disappointing to me. I love the A&F brand and everything it stands for. My question is: To all of the A&F haters out there…why do you care so much to change the A&F brand and rebel against them? If you do not like A&F (for any reason) or cannot fit into their clothes then simply do not shop at A&F. But why spend so much time and effort hating them for being exclusionary? Simply move on. Should Ivy League schools let anybody who applies through their doors just because the applicants reeeeeeeeally want to attend? No. Should the Mercedes brand lower their prices so lower income individuals may own a Mercedes, too? No. Many facets of life are exclusionary. It’s exciting, it’s interesting and it’s fun. It is a status symbol. Their is nothing wrong with anything that I have just mentioned. Many of you think the A&F brand may be “evil” (so to speak). I disagree. I simply feel (this is just my own speculation) that A&F wants to cater to their target audience. I don’t believe they “hate fat people”…or anyone else who doesn’t fit their target audience. They are not out to bully you or degrade you. After all, they are out to sell clothes. I believe they simply are targeting the young, all-American male/female, laid back, athletic, non-synical college student. The brand exudes a sexy, confident attitude represented by their marketing campaigns. I love the “muscle fit” clothing! They have recently been more “fashion forward” in my opinion, but let’s keep in mind A&F will always have a “classic” feel and image. If someone thinks A&F is not “stylish”, they may not understand Abercrombie. It seems to me that Mike Jeffries now feels that some of his comments about the brands non-target audience in the past may have been harsh, and has apologized. That should be enough. I certainly wasn’t offended by his comments and feel that he spoke up, and spoke well. However, it’s best to keep peace with all men if possible. Change is unavoidable, “you change either to stay ahead or to catch up”. I hope A&F stays true to their roots along with any changes they face. Good luck to Abercrombie on all of their future endeavors.

Dana on

I am not annoyed that they don’t carry larger sizes, I’m 5ft11 and plus size. What most people are annoyed and have disdain for is his very public and bold statement: that if you are bigger, you are some how less cool or popular. A & F can cater to whoever they want to. Just show class and respect of other human beings.

Lane Bryant starts at 14w (some 12s) and goes up to 28w. They do this because most stores choose to cater to 14 and under. Someone finally understood that just because we aren’t a size 2,that we don’t want giant moomoos or plain & ugly clothes. Not all of us are built to wear A & F, that’s fine.Despite what Mr. Jeffries said, there is beauty in being unique. We are all beautiful, no matter who we are or what size we wear. Beauty is more than just a pretty face/body. When you show respect and kindness to others an inward beauty that shines brighter than a pretty face is shown.

Laboos on

People need to stop complaining and boycotting. Everybody does have the right to look good, if you want to look good than go buy clothes from somewhere else. Why is obesity rate so high in America compared to asian countries because the clothing companies have to cater to the peoples growing sizes where as in Asia , if you can’t fit this, too bad go work out because nothing goes over a size M. It is mean to say big people are not cool but like stop , if you want to fit into their clothes than you have to work for it. STOp finding excuses and be angry at the company because most people are to lazy to get up and work their butt off to look better. I wasn’t skinny but I got this way because I work my butt off and did not complain

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