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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

Mrs. C. on

Too little too late. I hope this is the beginning of a bankrupt end for A&F!

Jeremy on

What exactly is your definition of a “cool” kid? In my mind, as it should be with everyone else in this world, a “cool” kid doesn’t come in a certain size, shape, colour or background. A “cool” kid is someone that everyone can look up to preferably in a good way. I’m a grown up now, but when I was in grade school some kids considered me a “cool” kid. And it had nothing to do with my size, looks or background. I was at a loss myself until one friend told me the reason. She said it was because I was friends with everyone! I didn’t have a bias or preference in who I hung out with or who I let hang out with me. That’s what kids need to do today. Embrace everyone equally. So A&F stop acting like a marketing bully by posting obnoxious and hurtful comments about a persons’ size. And remember.. even the “cool” kids go through insecurities like we all do. How about showing some more support instead of dividing people. Just a thought.

Reye on

Yeah good luck with that, A&F. Maybe next time your CEO wants to open his trap, he should think about just how many kids get bullied nowadays by people with his line of thinking. I hope this company tanks.

Mike on

Don’t persecute people for being sexy. If you’re unattractive, don’t shop at A&F. It’s as simple as that.

MrsJAZ on

I wouldn’t wear their clothes if they were free. Unforgiveable company.

ana on

@Emma: Very well said! I completely agree with you.

chairman on

For those who rag on LB, not everyone sells attractive, well fitting clothes for the bigger woman. I wear a 12 and can’t fit their clothing, but purchase my bras there. How is it cool that the majority of women in America are an average of size 14 a TINY TEN is supposed to fit my very curvy body? Clothing isn’t made for a woman who’s curvy, just someone who’s straight up and down. Bigger women DESERVE somewhere they can go and not be judged or given side eye!

lmrozela on

Having always been a taller, larger-sized woman, I can say (with pride) that I have never worn the clothes this company sells, nor have I wanted to. When I have been by their stores, I can’t get past the stench of whatever scent they douse their clothes with to actually get inside. I’m not willing to make myself sick, and this company any richer, by buying their clothes that I wouldn’t use to wash my car with.

Deb Perry on

You may be exclusionary with your brand, I will be exclusionary with my dollars.

Mandy on

To those commenting about Lane Bryant and saying its the same thing because they only offer plus size clothing. In my opinion, It was never a matter against A&F because they didn’t offer larger clothing. The real controvery was the fact that they said a person of larger size was not deemed as cool or desirable. I don’t think anyone really cared so to speak about the sizes they offered or didn’t. Just my 2 cents :-)

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