Abercrombie and Fitch: Is it wrong?
Let me start off with: yes.
Ok I’m glad we’re done here.
Wait no… shit. That’s what everyone’s doing without really justifying why. OK let’s take a step back.
First of all, if you’re not aware, Abercrombie and Fitch’s CEO, Mike Jeffries, has publicly claimed that he purposely does not carry XL and larger sizes in his store and in general hopes to foster an exclusive environment for only the “coolest” and most attractive people.
The one and ONLY thing that is immediately clear (to me) is that this guy is yet to receive his diploma… from middle school. If you’re actually concerned with being “cool” rather than being yourself past middle school… ok I’ll give you till past high school, then… well go shop at A&F.
The not so clear thing is WHY is this wrong? Obviously he’s a dick, but so are a lot of CEOs… So why is it wrong as a CEO to model your business in this manner? As a CEO, you obviously want to promote the interest of your stakeholders (all those who have a stake in your company: shareholders, customers, employees, etc.). So if what is defined as “correct” in the business world is actions that increase interest of stakeholders, and under the consideration that this statement contains sentiments of hate, wouldn’t publicizing it create disinterest amongst stakeholders? In other words, wouldn’t it be “wrong” to do so?
Well… let’s start off with shareholders. This is the first place I investigated to see the effects of Jeffries statements. I read this shit-spew from this douche nugget and I immediately was like “HA, this is gonna keeel this dude’s stock.” Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) is on a two month high, increasing 7 points in the past month, with a P/E of 18ish (for those of you who don’t know, these are good things). I’m an engineering major not Econ or Finance or whatever deals with this shit, but all of ANF’s investors either don’t care, agree with these statements, or are just ignoring it and letting the market do its thang. Where as this is not my area of expertise (pretty sure I don’t have one of those anyways…) I’ll leave this to someone else to analyze why this is behavior that is being exhibited. What can be taken away though, is that shareholders clearly do not believe this to be “wrong”, in fact, with the increase in stock value, they must believe it this culture is “correct”.
Now for the customers: Without a doubt, the majority of people who shop at Abercrombie and Fitch are those who Jeffries wants to be there. Due to his statements, those who are excluded from the “crowd” are either going to feel like worthless sacks of shit or are going to feel even further empowered to fulfill their fabricated dreams of getting in with the kool kids. Regardless, they do not make up a significant amount of the customer population to really make a difference anyways. For the people who are in-line with Jeffries’s model, this is whole thing is just a self-fulfilling ego boost for them and will likely cause them to recruit their other worthless friends to join the cause. So, with the majority of the customer population in full boner on this one, the customers are also gauging this as a “correct” policy.
Employees, the face-face, everyday representation of the company. Seeing how Jeffries feels about his customers, there’s no doubt there are at least unofficial qualifications for employees. Under this pretense, employees of Abercrombie and Fitch are aware of the message they are promoting and most likely agree with it. What’s another way of saying that they agree with it?? Oh what’s that you said? They think the message CEO Mike Jeffries is promoting is “correct”, ok yeah… I agree.
Allllllrighty… SO in review, all of A&F’s stakeholders, (the opinions of the tangible representation of the company!) think that CEO’s Mike Jeffries statements are soooo… right? Shit. Yeah, I guess so… So I guess since a company actions are reflective of stakeholders feelings, A&F is “correct”!
Well, this has been fun…
BUT WAIT! There’s more to a company than their market impact… you mean… like their social impact? (Instructions for the following: scream WHAT? in your head), WHΩ≈ç√∫˜µugdf∞¡®¢¶ª™§¢ª¡¢aaTTT? cool, hope that was entertaining.
Yeah crazy right?! And Jeffries agrees! Check out this shit stain from A&F’s Careers page:
“Diversity and inclusion are key to our organization’s success. We are determined to have a diverse culture, throughout our organization, that benefits from the perspectives of each individual.” -Mike Jeffries, Chairman & CEO
Well, guess what buddy… you’re kinda fuckin that one up. Diversity and inclusion are not only important to your shitty company’s success, but is important to the success of our entire country. It should be implicit that every single American corporation that has impact on the American public should be conscious of the American principles that allow it to exist AND what is so powerful about those principles. We have acted as the forefront of social change since our start, in fact, that’s how we, as a country, started!
Yes, you’re pleasing all of your stakeholders, but you are perpetuating a culture of hate that only has ONE long term consequence: the hindering of progress. This isn’t about whether you are allowed to make an exclusive environment or not, of course you are, but first of all, the message you are delivering is in stark contrast with what’s on your website (not that you actually believe that) but if you’re going to publicly make that a virtue of your company, stick to it! More importantly, (secondly, if you will), it is the sheer existence of a company like this that upsets me. There is so much potential for acceptance in this country and we have come so far, and every time there is some public showcase of taking that fact for granted, it becomes stupidly easy for an entire portion of society to grow ignorant to our progress.
So, fuck your investors, screw your customers, and… idk… POOP your employees (got’em), because when you make statements like this, the effect extends beyond your stakeholders. You’re up against progress, you’re up against change, you’re up against the future. For the sake of everyone, please don’t fuck it up.
P.S. You would be outcast from your own store. You’re just so gross looking. Idk man, somethings telling me your trying to compensate for your shitty childhood when you were constantly made fun of for looking like a battered turtle. Y’know, you’re only recreating that same horror you experienced for all of the other battered turtle children…