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May 9, 2013 6:24 PM by KLTV(PHOTO COURTESY OF ABERCROMBIE & FITCH)

Abercrombie CEO: We won't sell clothes for larger women

(KLTV) - At your nearest Abercrombie & Fitch, you can find shirtless salesmen and the latest distressed denim but, if you're looking for a women's extra-large blouse you're out of luck.

The trendy retailer's CEO doesn't want your business.

"He's been very successful so he doesn't want anybody in the store that doesn't fit that cool young and sexy definition."

Robin Lewis is co-author of the New Rules of Retail.

He says it's all part of CEO Mike Jeffries' master plan to cultivate what he considers cool.

A visit to the Abercrombie flagship store in New York revealed there were no size 14's, the average woman's size in America, in the store. After scanning multiple shelves and racks, mostly double-zeros and extra-smalls were found and a couple of large tops and size 10 pants, sales people there confirmed: Abercrombie doesn't carry XL or XXL for women.

A spokes person for Abercrombie & Fitch declined to comment, but in a 2006 interview CEO Jefferies told salon magazine: "We go after the attractive All-American kid a lot of people don't belong in our clothes, and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? absolutely."

But Lewis says it's a model that may not fit the future. Plus sized shoppers now make up 67% of consumers. I think the young people today want cool, but as they define it themselves from Dove's real beauty campaign - highlighting real women - to H&M's inclusion of plus sized swimsuit model Jennie Runk, many other brands are embracing that individualism.

And making their clothes more accessible. For example rival retailers H&M and American Eagle both carry sizes up to 16 and 18 the largest at Abercrombie & Fitch? A size 10.

 

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