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Ovation: #FitchTheHomeless.

05/15/2013

AbercrombieEarlier this week, retail giant Abercrombie & Fitch made headlines nationwide when an article from Business Insider indicating that any girl who doesn’t fit into a size large isn’t welcome at the company’s clothing stores became trending news.  The brouhaha resulted in the resurfacing of a statement that the company’s CEO, Mike Jeffries made in an interview with Salon magazine in 2006:

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” Jeffries told the magazine. “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.” – Mike Jeffries, CEO, Abercrombie & Fitch

In response, filmmaker Greg Karber has come up with a funny and creative way to react … by giving their clothes to the homeless.

I wish I’d thought of this.  Apparently, Jeffries would choose to burn the clothes that the company can’t sell rather than donate them to the needy.  I understand the importance of marketing to a target audience but the message this sends is offensive.

Ever since last summer’s Chick-Fil-A fiasco, it seems that “outrageous statements from management” is becoming a marketing tool like none before.  National headlines, trending news stories, tweets and Facebook posts can get a message to a large audience in record time … good or bad.  And, as the saying goes, there’s “no such thing as bad publicity”.  I believe Karber’s plan, however, is different from a boycott and could be even more effective.

What do you think?  Would you give Abercrombie & Fitch clothes to the homeless?

UPDATE 05/29/13 – Abercrombie & Fitch Apologizes After Plus-Size Firestorm.

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10 Comments
  1. I would give them to a homeless shelter. i am not a fan of that video as it seems to degrade the homeless a little bit. He uses these people as part of his snarky ooh-look-at-me commentary.

    Why not just film a huge truck delivering A&F clothes to a shelter?

    Like

  2. I thought we left this chidlish popularity behind in high school. My kids are not into the popular things, but we have friends whose kids are. They have to have a label on their clothes.

    Would I and do I give nice clothes to people who are homeless or in need, absolutely! As a point of reference, my daughter goes to a nice public high school. There are 30 homeless kids that go to that high school. In my county, there are about 5,000 homeless kids in school. Their parents lost jobs, had a medical emergency, had hours cut, were victims of domestic violence, etc. Just because they are homeless, does not mean they did not have or should not wear nice clothes.

    People should know the significant majority of homeless people do not look like the chronic homeless panhandler. Many of them look like you and me. We should help the former, but the latter needs a helping hand to climb a ladder. Thanks, BTG

    Like

    • I’m with you. I hope that ideas like #FitchTheHomeless can help bring a heightened sense of awareness to people like your friends who purchase clothes like this for their family. Perhaps the next time their child demands a shirt with a moose on it instead of a less expensive brand, they’ll think twice about the signal the purchase might send.

      Of course, we should donate all kinds of clothes and other items to homeless shelters throughout the year … not just A&F items when the company’s CEO outs himself as a creep.

      Thanks for reading!

      Like

  3. I think this is another publicity stunt – there will be people picketing the stores, but they will be the people who wouldn’t fit into their clothes anyway. The young & impressionable will think it’s cool to shop somewhere “so exclusive!”

    Like

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. #FitchTheHomeless:Take a stand against Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries! | Morning Tempest Studios
  2. #FitchTheHomeless:Take a stand against Mike Jeffries! | Dancing with Fireflies
  3. Ovation: If Business Owners Want To Bring Their Personal Beliefs And Values To The Marketplace Then I’ll Certainly Bring Mine. |

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