Abercrombie and Fitch Under Fire 'Exclusionary' Tactics

Critics of clothing company say they offer clothes only to the ultra thin.
2:39 | 05/09/13

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Transcript for Abercrombie and Fitch Under Fire 'Exclusionary' Tactics
And abercrombie & fitch is on the hot seat this morning. The chain accused of discriminating against overweight customers making clothes only for the thin. Rebecca jarvis with the story. Reporter: This is a company making almost $5 billion a year in sales but doing it by deliberately leaving out a significant part of the population and the ceo says it's all by design. ♪ at your nearest abercrombie & fitch you can find shirtless salesmen in the latest distressed denim but if you're looking for a women's extra large blouse you're out of luck. The trendy retailer ceo doesn't want your business. It's been very, very successful. He doesn't want anybody in the store that doesn't fit that cool, young and sexy definition. Reporter: Robin lewis is co-author of "the new rules of retail" all part of mike jeffrey's master plan to cultivate what he considers cool. We visited the abercrombie flagship store to see if we could find something for the average woman, a size 14 in the u.S. But after scanning multiple shelves and racks, we found mostly double zeros and extra smalls and a couple of large t tops and size 10 pants. Salespeople there confirmed abercrombie doesn't carry xl or xxl for women. A spokesperson for abercrombie & fitch declined to comment but in a 2006 interview ceo jefferys said we go after the all-american kid. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. He is a brilliant visionary and he really crystalized this core consumer he was going after. Reporter: But lewis says it's a model that may not fit the future. Plus size shoppers now make up 67% of consumers. I think young people, they want cool, but it is how they define it for themselves. Reporter: From dove's real beauty campaign highlighting real women to h&m's inclusion of plus side swimsuit model jenny ronk, many are 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 10. And it may come as a surprise, abercrombie isn't alone in employing exclusionary tactics, many high-end retailers keep sizes low and prices high just to be exclusive and think it adds some cache to the label. I've never heard that before.

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