Mike Jeffries, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, made some comments in 2006 that certainly made his fashion brand sound nothing short of uber-elitist. Now,áthoseácomments are coming back to haunt him and his brand. And it looks like they will do some permanent damage.
It's one thing to be honest. But anyone from the UK will know what happened to Ratner's jewelers when their CEO, Gerald Ratner himself, made the following comment:
"We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for ú4.95. People say, "How can you sell this for such a low price?", I say, "because it's total crap."
Ratner's lost over $500 million in value, which spelled the end for the chain. It changed its name to the Signet Group, but the damage was done.
Now, although Abercrombie is not a purveyor of cheap clothing, the CEO has committed the cardinal sin of advertising. He ignored his brand. There is nothing wrong with being honest, but really, his opinions of "fat people" and "ugly people" are not opinions you want tied to your multi-million dollar empire.
People are donating Abercrombie clothes to Goodwill left and right. Sales are dropping. Soon, A&F will stand for Assholes and Fascists. You can read more about this right here. But in a word...disaster.