Abercrombie & Fitch has apologized yet again in an effort to draw some of the “cool kids” back to their stores.
The brand has seen their popularity plummet in recent weeks after Business Insider re-printed quotes from CEO Mike Jeffries given in a 2006 Salon interview.
Jeffries had said that the store and its products were aimed at skinny, attractive “cool kids,” instead of the “not-so-cool kids,” and that their business model is “absolutely” exclusionary.
“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 [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
The resurfaced remarks have practically burned Abercrombie & Fitch to the ground, with nearly everyone from A-list celebrities on down eviscerating the company’s exclusionary business model and Jeffries’ cruel candor.
Jeffries offered an apology, writing that he is upset that his “choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense,” but the apology was mocked for being disingenuous.
The company (sans Jeffries) met with teen activists Wednesday who called on Abercrombie & Fitch to embrace a more inclusive model on the back of a Change.org petition which has attracted over 70,000 signatures.
After the meet, Abercrombie & Fitch apologized and offered the following statement:
“We look forward to continuing this dialogue and taking concrete steps to demonstrate our commitment to anti-bullying in addition to our ongoing support of diversity and inclusion. 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’ absence from the meet is worth noting, as well. It seems like most of the criticism was pointed at him, and the company by association.
What do you think of Abercrombie & Fitch’s apology? Will you shop there again if they change?