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TheStreet Open House

Abercrombie's CEO Provokes Even as Investors Cheer

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) delights in provocative advertising which might explain CEO Mike Jeffries' comments about the company's unwillingness to carry larger sizes.

Jeffries has pointedly said that Abercrombie targets "the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and has a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong in our clothes and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely."

While Jeffries' comments aren't new, social media has been abuzz this week commenting on a blog post by marketing executive Amy Taylor entitled An Open Letter From a "Fat Chick" to Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch.

Taylor describes herself as "not only a fat chick, I'm also 'not-so-cool' kind of kid." She says that as a marketer herself she appreciates Jeffries' business strategies, but argues that excluding consumers based on body type has it social costs. Jeffries grandstanding, she says, is a form of bullying and should not be accepted.

"Funny thing about wearing your struggle on the outside: it makes you stronger. It teaches you how to adapt. It forces you to dig deep and do more. And while people like you are sitting at the cool kids table intent on holding others down, the ragtag team of not-so-cool kids is busy pulling others up...and we've become an unstoppable force driving the world forward," she writes.

Taylor further writes in an intro before the letter: "I'm not slamming Abercrombie, proposing that they start carrying larger sizes or suggesting they welcome everyone into their stores. What I am questioning is why, in a country where two out of every three adults are considered overweight, is it acceptable for anyone, let alone the CEO of a major company, to proudly and publicly sling what could be considered by some to teeter on hate speech?"

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