Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

A Teaching Moment: Talk with Young about Positive Buying Habits ; YOUTH RESOURCES

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

A Teaching Moment: Talk with Young about Positive Buying Habits ; YOUTH RESOURCES

Article excerpt

The latest controversy surrounding retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has many people weighing in on the argument. It was revealed that the company's CEO, Mike Jeffries, has made some seriously disparaging comments that have come to light. "In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so- cool kids," he was quoted as saying. "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. 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." That quote, which was resurrected from the 2006 Benoit Denizet-Lewis article, "The Man Behind Abercrombie & Fitch," is just the tip of the iceberg when delving into Jeffries' history with Abercrombie.

This attitude by a brand popular with young people can raise a lot of questions about how best to handle the situation. As adults, it is our responsibility to help educate young people about buying decisions and ethical business practices.

According to a May 3 article by Business Insider reporter Ashley Lutz, "Abercrombie & Fitch Refuses to Make Clothing for Large Women," the company doesn't stock women's clothing in XL or XXL sizes. The largest women's pants size the retailer carries is a 10. Apparently, the company doesn't want women larger than a certain size promoting its brand.

With Jeffries at the helm, there have been numerous controversies surrounding the company. Push-up bikini tops were marketed to girls as young as 7 in 2011. In 2002, thong underwear with sayings such as "Wink, Wink" and "Eye Candy" printed on it was targeted at middle school-aged girls. …

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