American retailer Abercrombie & Fitch does not stock sizes XL or XXL for women in their stores because they don't want larger women wearing their clothes.
In complete contrast to competitors such as H&M, which used a plus-size model to advertise their new swimwear collection; Forever 21, which has its own plus size section; and American Eagle, which carries up to size XXL for women; A&F seems to be going backwards.
Business Insider says the retailer doesn't consider overweight women to be "cool" enough for their brand which is why they only carry sizes XS to L in Canada and the United States. "Abercrombie is sticking to its guns of conventional beauty, even as that standard becomes outdated," said BI reporter Ashley Lutz.
Robin Lewis, co-author of The New Rules of Retail and CEO of newsletter The Robin Report, told BI that Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries has a negative attitude when it comes to plus-size women.
"He doesn't want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people. He doesn't want his core customers to see people who aren't as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they're one of the 'cool kids.'"
Jeffries has made it known publicly that he thinks plus-size women shouldn't shop at Abercrombie. The CEO told Salon,
"A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla."
While A&F is leaning away from a large demographic (pun not intended), the rest of the world is running towards it.
Elle Quebec just featured gorgeous plus-size model Justine LeGault on their May 2013 cover and Ralph Lauren used its first plus-size model in their advertisements last year.