Hollister, A&F Clothing Stores Unfriendly to Disabled, Says Judge
Earlier this month, Abercrombie & Fitch caught heat for comments its CEO made in the past about the company’s marketing strategy. Mike Jefferies was quoted in a new book, saying that Abercrombie & Fitch markets to “cool and popular kids” and “good-looking people,” which is why its stores do not stock extra-large female clothing.
The comments sparked a backlash online that reached evening news programs and even actress Kirstie Alley. A campaign to counter Abercrombie & Fitch’s message has also begun, with activists urged to clothe the homeless in Abercrimbie & Fitch clothing.
Now, Abercrombie & Fitch is facing legal trouble over the layout of its stores. According to an Associated Press report, a federal judge in Denver, Colorado has ruled that Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister stores are “unfriendly” to disabled persons. Abercrombie & Fitch is the parent company of Hollister. The judge is now considering an injunction against the company.
The lawsuit was filed by disabled Colorado consumers who claim to have had trouble getting into the stores through side doors and have complained that countertops in the stores are too high. The lawyer representing the disabled in the court case compared the use of side doors, rather than some type of access to the stores’ main entrance, with racial segregation. Lawyers for Abercrombie & Fitch have called this comparison “inflammatory” and have stated that the stores were constructed to standards in place at the time they were built.