Abercrombie & Fitch is apologizing... again.
After setting off a firestorm of controversy for refusing to stock women's sizes XL and XXL in their stores and the resurfacing of CEO Mike Jeffries' inflammatory comments in a 2006 Salon article, the American retailer is repeating its mea culpas.
Benjamin O’Keefe, an American teen who started the Change.org petition to get the company to include more sizes, met with executives this week, who gave the 18-year-old an apology, although Jeffries was a no-show.
Abercrombie said: "We want to reiterate that we sincerely regret and apologize for any offense caused by comments we have made in the past which are contrary to these values.”
Jeffries, who told Salon "a lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong," posted a statement on Facebook last week, although he stopped short of issuing an outright apology.
"While I believe this 7 year old, resurrected quote has been taken out of context, I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense. A&F is an aspirational brand that, like most specialty apparel brands, targets its marketing at a particular segment of customers. However, we care about the broader communities in which we operate and are strongly committed to diversity and inclusion. We hire good people who share these values. We are completely opposed to any discrimination, bullying, derogatory characterizations or other anti-social behavior based on race, gender, body type or other individual characteristics."
But the CEO's non-apology wasn't enough to quiet the critics, including talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who said in her opening monologue "Fitch, please!" and "Nashville" star (and former Abercrombie model) Chris Cormack, who Tweeted: "If I had any of their clothes I'd throw them away."
Do you think Abercrombie will start stocking larger sizes for women? What do you think of their apology?