‘In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,’ he explained candidly.
‘We go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong , and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.’
He argues that ostracizing some customers, by using sex and six-packs to sell clothes, leaves his loyal customers wanting more.
‘Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either,’ he said. (here)
This is Jeffries’ attitude and suddenly, people are getting really upset. Why? Because how dare Jeffries tell you what we already knew… businesses market on an exclusionary principle. He is creating an image he wants to sell too, and has every right to do so. And why shouldn’t he have that right? He is an American entrepreneur. This is capitalism. This is how companies make money. Why should we force him to change marketing emphasis just to meet our demands? I do not like Pepsi products — should they be forced to taste more like Coke for me to like them?
I agree — the image he is presenting is one that is damaging to men and women alike. It is the image that you do not matter unless you look like a model, unless you have money, unless you are widely popular. But, he is a businessman selling to the image we have allowed to be created and an image we will feed. Why criticize him for that which we have created? The image that the person’s value is only as good as the person looks. Personally, I hope he goes out of business, but I do not care about criticizing him and begging him to change his business strategy to make me feel good. Instead, I’m going to teach my children that their self-worth is not bound up in the way they look or the money they have, or the friends they keep and that they should respect the images of others — and guess what, they will not shop at A&F.
But, you know… People are really up set about a guy and his remarks about not wanting to sell to poor, unpopular, lower class uglies. I guess with all of this rage, they have missed the nearly 700 dead Bangladeshis or the fact that he is making the second highest ratio of CEO-to-employee salary in the U.S or the fact A&F burns unsold clothes rather than donate them or sell them at reduced costs. The Bangladeshis were garment workers, by the way, working to fill the orders of American consumers for cheap goods.
I don’t know… something about these two stories (Bangladesh and A&F) seem connected… What do you think?
- Abercrombie & Fitch Gives A Statement of a LIFETIME…. Mike Jeffries, CEO, hates Fat Chicks. (idollmagazine.wordpress.com)
- Not That I’ve Ever Shopped At Abercrombie & Fitch Before But Certainly Never Will Now (weightymatters.ca)