Major retail controversies: Abercrombie, Target, Wal-Mart and more
Being a major retailer is a challenge, considering shoppers' fleeting attention spans, tight margins, complex supply chains, stiff competition and shifting regulations. But these companies encountered more than the average difficulties, including labeling faux pas, outspoken executives and bribery allegations.
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Abercrombie & Fitch deals with resurrected complaints about lack of large sizes
In 2006, Abercrombie & Fitch Chief Executive Michael S. Jeffries gave a magazine interview in which he said the brand is "exclusionary," focusing on "the cool kids...the attractive all-American kid." "A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong," he said. In May, the interview resurfaced and went viral, with consumers protesting Abercrombie's lack of XL and XXL women's sizes. After a week of shopper complaints -- a Change.org petition demanding an apology has garnered more than 65,000 signatures; one man began handing out Abercrombie clothing to homeless Skid Row residents -- Jeffries spoke out. He emphasized that his brand is an "aspirational" one but that it is "completely opposed to any discrimination, bullying, derogatory characterizations or other anti-social behavior based on race, gender, body type or other individual characteristics." "I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense," he said. Still no plans to offer larger women's clothing, though.