Abercrombie & Fitch; hiring only the “attractive” is ugly policy

Abercrombie & Fitch , the Ohio based retailer is being sued by a British woman who worked in their London based store for discrimination. The 22 yr. old law student Riam Dean was hired by the store and  then at some point  they took notice of her prosthetic arm.  She was told she could wear a cardigan when on the shop floor. But , later she was relegated  to the back stock room because the sweater violated a strict dress code.  When I first heard this story out of London, I thought it was one of those urban myths. Then I found out that Ambercrombie has a large book of employee rules that does in fact include how long hair can be and length of nails etc. They also have had the reputation for years of only hiring very attractive young people, and according to some job applicants  would tell people that didn’t fit their appearance criteria that they weren’t hiring, when in fact they were.

The company disputes  her claims but Abercrombie has not had the best track record. In 2004 it spent 50 million to settle a number of discrimination lawsuits in the U.S. They were also part of a 22 million dollar settlement with other companies that contracted with sweatshops in the U.S. Territory of Saipan. So, I suppose you could  at the very least ,conclude that their ethics are certainly questionable.   I guess what I don’t comprehend about  all this is;  Since when does selling clothing in a store require beauty?   I mean, isn’t it about customer service and who is nice and helpful?  They have been criticized  for years about their blatant overtly sexual ads, tasteless tee shirt slogans, which they have pulled off the shelves  due to customer demand and still they plod on to new lows of  tastelessness  and apparent discrimination.

I notice they  are closing some of their off-shoot stores and their stock is on the downslide as I write this.  In this day and age, with retail in the dumps anyway, being shallow and putting the focus on “outer” beauty instead of inner beauty is just plain ugly. But you know,  companies like this only care about their bottom line,  and we as consumers can certainly control that to our advantage, whether we are attractive or not.

What the Abercrombie “people” don’t get is;  http://amzn.to/1vj6wRz  Nothing Changes Until We Do. They need to take a page from this book and figure out why they are so focused on  the superfluous. No business model can last like this as exclusionary is not “cool.” I am an Amazon affiliate so I do get a very small commission if you purchase through this link. But, it’s a great book no matter how you get it.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Abercrombie & Fitch; hiring only the “attractive” is ugly policy

  1. Pingback: Abercrombie & Fitch “Look” Policy Rears Its Ugly head Again | Newsy1's Blog

  2. Kiwi

    My, my…what a snotty arrogant store paying the lookers/sales clerks minimum wage. What an honor;)

    Like

  3. Abercrombie & Fitch is going to need to push some extra moose-emblazoned button-downs and hoodies today.

    Like

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