Thursday, July 25, 2013

Abercrombie & Fitch Under Investigation

Abercrombie & Fitch  is under investigation from France's human rights watchdog, following claims that the retailer hires staff based on their appearance. The American company has come under fire in the past for its overly exclusive marketing approach, and is renowned for its attractive model hosts greeting guests at store entrances.

The Defenseur des Droits investigating body specialises in discrimination cases and reported that it has reason to believe that staff who were hired as "models" were also used as sales clerks.

Abercrombie & Fitch Staff
"Though physical appearance may legitimately be a key and determining professional factor for models, that's not so for sales staff," the head of the watchdog, Dominique Baudis, told Reuters.

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries previously said that his brand was aimed solely at "cool, good-looking people" in a 2006 interview. An unnamed manager was also quoted as claiming that their collections weren't "for poor people" - prompting protests in LA.

The Defenseur des Droits aims to conclude its investigation by the end of 2013, after which it will make relevant recommendations to the company. However, a lawsuit can only be filed by an individual who claims to be the victim of discrimination, not by an independent watchdog. According toReuters, the company has lost discrimination lawsuits in America and Britain in the past.

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