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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

Minn on

Annoyed- I would agree that A&F is free to cater to the sizes they wish too. However, Jeffries was very rude and insulting toward bigger people when questioned. He should have just said something about his market research pointing to size 8 or 10 or what have you and below. He was being a bully and saying if you are fat you are not cool. I think that’s mean. I myself used to shop there 6 years ago when I was in a high school, and even now but only once in a while. But I will not anymore. Even though I am a smaller girl, I do not like the way he is, and do not want to make him richer!

NotTheSameThing on

Insult an entire demographic, then come asking for their business…not a very bright move, A&F.

As for the comments about Lane Bryant not carrying smaller sizes…while it’s true that Lane Bryant caters exclusively to larger sizes, there is the rather large difference that Lane Bryant’s CEO did not publicly insult people who do not fit into their clothes and call them unworthy of their brand.

ann on

I still won’t buy from them. Any business that tries to promote and perpetuate the idea of popularity and exclusiveness is not something I want to support.

SarahB on

Way too late on that one. I wouldn’t wear those clothes if you paid me.

Deb on

I’ve always hated their stores! They’re too dark to see the color of the clothes and the scents they spray everywhere give me a headache. And I agree with other posts, too little too late, in the size changes.

tarasmom on

Trying for a new market because they are losing business. None of my daughter’s friends want to wear A and F anymore. Not for at least 4 years now.

Susanne on

I live in fashion forward Copenhagen and completely do not get this fascination with A&F. Their clothing is horrible, in my eyes it caries the stereotype of American preppy frat boy. Every time I pass past the local A&F there is a line of 14 year old school girls. I guess that is their market…. There is absolutely nothing fashionable about A&F and their pretentiousness is laughable.

Womenfly on

Hmmmm I do not hear an apology from CEO Jeffries. They are expanding their size range to “stem the bleeding” from their tanking sales. Too bad. I hope they go under. I prefer American Eagle as they are inclusive to larger sized women, and they just make a better product. A&F is done!

Kelli on

They should have fired the CEO who was responsible for their loss, and THEN tried to do damage control. The comments that man made about “cool kids” was a form of bullying, and any company that will support that, deserves to take a loss. Their clothes aren’t even that great…and are overpriced anyway.

streamin'queen on

Abercrombie can suck it! Too little, too late for this big girl!

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