Reason #1 - All businesses should be focused on their customer - and many of the best businesses will limit their customers (oh the world of niche businesses and markets). In the case of A&F, they have decided to limit their customer base to a specific range of sizes - and guess what, there are other retailers that do the same thing (but of course they are marketed as BIG & TALL or PLUS sizes) which is just good business.
Reason #2 - All businesses should know who their customers are, and create products and services that fill that need. A&F caters to a very specific set of customers, with a very specific set of products. Does that mean people not specifically targeted don't want their products? No, but that has nothing to do with A&F.
Reason #3 - Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if it's not popular or "politically correct" - including the CEO of A&F. I've read what Mike Jeffries said IN A 2006 SALON interview and personally, who cares. He has every right to say what he wants - and for his company to position their clothes how they want and to attract the customers they want. Once again, it's a free market, he is free to say and sell what he wants and everyone else is free to buy (or not buy) what they want.
Personally, I believe the US is fat and unhealthy - in fact, I was fat an unhealthy for the majority of my adult life - I decided to change that about a year ago and started exercising and eating better. Can I do better, sure - but my opinion still stands. All you have to do is go any mall or Walmart in the US and just become aware of the people around you - and I guarantee you will witness how fat and unhealthy the country has become. What Mike Jeffries said, pissed some people off - and they took offense to it and even called him a bully. Well, I don't believe you can say he is a bully just by what he said - and anyone that took offense should look at themselves in mirror and if they are fat, do something about it and if their kids are fat, they should help their kids do something about. Humans are not meant to be fat - it's not a natural state of being - Mike Jeffries just said some words, those hearing them should just get over it.
What he said - from this Huffington Post article...
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he says. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. 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. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”