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Abercrombie & Fitch a Niche Market – & How It Relates to SlowMoneyFarm

May 9, 2013

So it’s been widely discussed, insulted, criticized and not very much supported when CEO Mike Jeffries talked about their target audience. This is their market, followed through with models must work for them then get picked to model. This insures young model hopefuls are in their stores, no matter their sales talent.

“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “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,” he told Salon.

Ok so many feel left out by that. But turn it around folks – it’s empowering! The vast majority of “real people” out here are not their market. They’re a niche market! Kudos to Mr. Jeffries for a great reason to not shop in their store – even for the skinny, good looking friends who also have birthdays and other occasions for gifts.

We’re not the exclusive group…and if that means we’re not exciting, well we’re doing something wrong! After all, there’s a place for everyone. Mr. Jeffries wouldn’t be welcome in the store either – not young and good looking enough! I knew when I hit 40 jobs were harder to get, in favor of younger (and cheaper wages!) possibilities.

Guess what folks – there’s things we can change and things we can’t. My change – shopping in other stores for clothes! Easy! And while many criticize the direct, perhaps rude, means of defining their market…how different is it than others with niche markets? Those “cool” and “popular” people put on 20-30 pounds and aren’t cool and popular anymore. They get the self esteem to not base themselves on what they wear or eat and learn to find themselves and define themselves on their own terms and are no longer an A&F customer. Another crop – perpetual harvest with a specific marketing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom a marketing perspective, it’s business sense – find your market, cultivate it. How much publicity have they gotten today? People who don’t shop there and aren’t talking about them normally are talking about them.

We’re, really, not that different but aren’t so blunt about it. We, too, target a specific type of person as a customer. The person who wants the lowest cost, who wants the convenience of buying everything at WalMart or Safeway – we’re not there. That person has food choices too, but isn’t on our radar.

Those willing to make food choices, concerned about transparency and knowing where and how their food is produced – now those people we can serve. A niche! No different than any other business, including Abercrombie & Fitch. Do we feel the need to insult the majority of people who don’t buy from us? No!

Because, you see, we don’t sell just food! We know those people who don’t buy a farm share now might a year from now or two years from now find themselves wanting a unique gift or food for a one time special event that we can provide. We have our niche, as does everyone else, providing food choices.

Be glad Mr. Jeffries is honest about not wanting us in his store. Leave it to the good looking people who care about the brand or logo on their shirt, and spend money there so they don’t have money to spend on our food choices.

You see, the popular crowd doesn’t cover the majority. It’s exclusive. We have an exclusive club too – perhaps much more so than Abercrombie & Fitch. We’re not in malls – and less than 1,000 people can participate on a given year. That probably leaves out many of their customers too.

I don’t think they’ll be worried about it, and I’m not losing any sleep over it. I value our customers, as well as everyone who makes food choices every day – popular or not. We’re not vanilla. We’re lemon garlic rabbit and BBQ pork and heavenly rosemary put on whatever you want to put it on.

And that, dear readers, beats vanilla only any day!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2013 4:51 PM

    I missed this earlier… well done Jan!

    • May 21, 2013 9:17 PM

      Thanks Janice! When I thought of it as a niche it wasn’t nearly as offensive. Could have been carried out better maybe! Thanks for stopping by.

      • May 21, 2013 9:48 PM

        LOL! Your post was the only one of many Zemanta offered that I was willing to link to. A bunch of folks are just wrong LOL.

      • May 22, 2013 2:54 AM

        LOL I think I went in a store maybe once. About 20′ in it was clear it wasn’t a store for me. Many in the mall aren’t and that’s ok. The direct comments just saves me time in looking there for gifts! 😀 I hope that I never come across that way in our marketing…words can make a difference!


  1. The Discussion About Abercrombie Clothes Needs a Reality Check

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