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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

Lisa on

@Nicole. Seriously?? Its not about the sizes. The scorn and disgust A&F feels for the so-called “not so cool” was the basis for their brand. Lane Bryant isn’t about cool or not cool–its about giving plus sized women more fashionable options than what’s usually available to them. If A&F chose to carry the smaller sizes without the snide, “I’m better than you” attitude, folks might not have had such a negative reaction to them.

Marilyn on

After their employee told me that I was “too fat” to wear their clothes at the age of 14 (I am 20 now) I wouldn’t shop there for all of King Midas’ silver no matter what changes they made.

Lisa on

@CassM–Its not about the sizes, its about the attitude. If they had remained successful, they would not be expanding their size offerings. Its not giving in–they are trying to save their butt. I hope they fail!

Lisa on

What is it about being plus size that brings out such hate in people? I truly do not understand this.

Andrea on

A&F has the right to gear their clothing to whatever group they’d like. So does Lane Bryant (like seen in previous comments) I don’t believe thay they lost business because they said they don’t cater to heavier. It was the WAY he said it. There are definitely tactful ways to convey what he/A&F believed and what he said was not tactful in any way. That, in my opinion, is the reason they lost business.

Olive on

I’ve never shopped at that place. Even in high school 12 years ago. Hated what they stood for even way back then. I hope they go out of business. How much is it there for a t-shirt these days? $40??

MrMonkee on

As an overweight man and a father I went in to a A&F store last Christmas to buy some gifts for my teenage daughters. They had given me a list with specific items that were in the store. I could not for the life of me get ANYONE to wait on me and help me find the items I needed to find. I finally gave up and walked out.I ended up at another store on my daughters list and bought everything they asked for which totaled over $600. A&F will never see a $$$ of my money ever again.

pixyprincess on

Why do they have a bunch of dudes wearing girls jeans?

guest on

Ditto Miriam! This comes on the heels of a report that says 70% of people in this country are over their stock sizes. He deserves to go under for his arrogant retailing style…

Sandy on

I thought A&F was irrelevant a long time ago. I wouldn’t buy anything they sell. “Decent human being” beats “cool” any day.

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