Abercrombie & Fitch - lacking in a few people skills

10 September 2009

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We’re not experts in anything, but when it comes to identifying brands that are a complete and utter disgrace, we’re pretty sure that it’s fair to slap that particular label on Abercrombie & Fitch.

The American-founded clothing merchants are racking up a decidedly unimpressive list of gaffes, the latest coming after an US court ruled against them after one of their store staff refused to allow an autistic girl’s sister to enter a changing room and help her try on clothes.

This follows a recent employment tribunal in the UK which found in favour of an A&F member of staff with a prosthetic arm who was told to work away from the shop floor as she didn’t fit in with the company’s ‘look policy,’ which is said to cover anything from the length of women's fingernails to what hairstyles and colours of nail polish they wear.

In 2004, Abercrombie & Fitch were in the dock for discriminating against non-white members of staff, and found to be predominantly allocating night shifts to their staff who belonged to ethnic minorities. Mind you, this is a company who once sold a T-shirt that was replete with the slogan "Wong Brothers Laundry Service—Two Wongs Can Make It White" with smiling Chinese-looking figures in conical straw hats.

But they mean well – last year, in Columbus, Ohio, Abercrombie & Fitch donated $10 million to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in exchange for the ER room to be renamed the Abercrombie & Fitch Emergency Department and Trauma Center. Luckily, a protest group scuppered the plans, pointing out the company’s “appalling history of targeting children with sexualised marketing and clothing.”

Abercrombie & Fitch – undisputed masters at getting it very, very wrong.

31 comments

  • Bill O.
    stopping a $10 million donation to a childrens hospital because of objectionable marketing? isnt that like cutting off your nose to spite your face? Im not saying abercrombie & fitch are saints but come on, some people are too sensitive. After all, theres obviously plenty of people who dont care, given the success A&F are enjoying.
  • Onizuka
    Good read, And another example of big corporate labels who think they are untouchable. Blatant Racism, discrimination and outright twattery shouldnt be tolerated.
  • bykergrove
    their clothes are nice, that's what i look for when buying clothes. thassittttt
  • Chris
    I still love the clothes, so it's all gravy.
  • Darren W.
    There recent adverts for the new store in the Trafford Centre was asking for gorgeous people only... I mean at the end of the day you dont have to have it on the Posters, the Retail manager is going to make his mind up whether he likes you or not, and anyone applying for a job paying a retail salary isn't going to be interested in pursuing the reason why he or she didnt get the Job, I mean its not like you want to work there for the passion of the brand, you want to work there because they do great clothes and you get huge discount along with a Handsome clothing allowance...
  • Steve
    Who cares, I'm not crippled and their clothes are awesome, you rule A & F.
  • Cookie
    I completley understand. Why would you want a fatty serving you?
  • Hogan
    I agree with Cookie - getting served by someone pig ugly puts you in a bad mood for the day
    • Andy D.
      I think I might open a high-end clothes store where I set fire to limbless black women in the middle of the shop floor. Judging by the feedback to this story, it'd be a monster hit!
  • Hogan
    all PR is good PR.... depending on how you set fire to the limbless woman
  • Cookie
    Don't forget the hot half naked women Andy!
  • Cookie
    Probably best not to use accelarants as it would be over too quickly.
  • The B.
    You've got to laugh though, I took my neice to the store in Regents Street, try holding a conversation with the staff, fuckwits of the highest order, anyone who can't see through the marketing veneer is frankly, not very bright at all (and yes that includes my neice who is particularly thick).
  • Hogan
    Yes a long lasting burning would be required. Lighting Gel perhaps from Homebase or Wicks
  • ....
    and all the staff look like they have fucked a wotsit....
  • Dan
    I'm personally am happy with their no freaks and fatties policy.
  • Cookie
    mmmm... i love wotsits.
  • Hogan
    Can the fat ugly people work in the back office late at night?? that way we all win!!
  • DM
    Night shifts tend to pay more..... so I'd say no deal.
  • Shooter M.
    Your left wing sensibilities have been dashed on the rocks of cold, hard capitalism, Andy. Just as they should.
  • mark
    Disgraceful actions by this company, I hope they go out of business and retail does not need companies like this.
  • T100
    Personally I think its just glam jock wear and you cant polish a jock. Overpriced and half of the time the designs are just dull. Throwing pounds and pounds just at a name with uninspiring designs.
  • mark
    BTW good article Andy, I think most of the comments are tongue in cheek if not, the seriously need to rethink how they look at society as people with disabilities have it hard enough as it is without people deciding that making it worse for them is so much more fun!
  • Hogan
    The positive side of this is at least A&F are not employing children in slum workshops in India... If A&F are thats is a great markup % ($$)
  • T100
    Let's all make comments as shocking as possible and pretend we actually agree with racism, exploitation, discrimination....... How intelligent it makes us look.
  • J. T.
    I quite like A & F. Their clothing works like a screaming beacon saying "I'm a cunt, a soulless fashion victim who has the intellectual capacity of a gnat" - Saves me the hassle of having to speak to them and ruining my day.
  • tits
    yeah ^^^ A & F is for Chavs and stupid people.
  • More B.
    [...] Who knows – cake yourself in enough of the stuff and you might even get a daytime job on the shop floor with Abercrombie & Fitch! [...]
  • Ten B.
    [...] & Fitch – the company whose staff will shit in your hat. Actually they won’t, at least not as far as we [...]
  • rosacea c.
    i'm freshly here, and only desire to tell hi!
  • Shawn D.
    Thank you for your outstanding job, you really deserved for a praise.

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