South Florida Shoppers React to Abercrombie & Fitch CEO's Comments Highlighted in New Book

An interview Mike Jeffries gave to Salon magazine in 2006 is getting attention with the release of "The New Rules of Retail"

By Christina Hernandez
|  Friday, May 10, 2013  |  Updated 9:47 AM EDT
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The CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries, has been shaking things up for years   accused of making clothes too sexy for young shoppers, not donating damaged clothes, and only hiring good-looking employees. Now, thanks to the just-released book

The CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries, has been shaking things up for years accused of making clothes too sexy for young shoppers, not donating damaged clothes, and only hiring good-looking employees. Now, thanks to the just-released book "The New Rules of Retail," an old interview is coming back to haunt Jeffries. Fresia Espinosa, Jose Hernandez and Rosara Diaz comment.

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It's a popular store in thousands of malls across the country. Abercrombie & Fitch has many fans, but this week, that may have changed.

The CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mike Jeffries, has been shaking things up for years – accused of making clothes too sexy for young shoppers, not donating damaged clothes, and only hiring good-looking employees. Now, thanks to the just-released book "The New Rules of Retail," an old interview is coming back to haunt Jeffries.

In 2006, he told Salon magazine, "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. But then you become totally vanilla."

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South Florida shopper Fresia Espinosa said discrimination by businesses is unacceptable.

"I don't think any company should discriminate against any kind of person – fat, skinny, gender-wise. They've always done that,” she said of Abercrombie & Fitch. “That's always been their image, so I think that's what's made them so successful also."

"I don't stick to that stuff," Espinosa's friend Jose Hernandez said. "Plus, it's not like I fit in it either."

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Jeffries was also quoted saying A&F's clothes are for "cool kids" with "a lot of friends."

The re-released statements are making some customers completely drop the store, while others are reconsidering their family's fashion choices.

"That makes me not want to purchase from that company anymore," mother Rosara Diaz said. "If that's the way they think, it's messed up."

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Since the book has been released, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch or a store spokesperson has not commented.

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