OPERATIONS

Teen accuses Abercrombie & Fitch of discrimination

BY CSA STAFF

Oklahoma City A lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Tulsa, Okla., alleges that a local Abercrombie & Fitch store discriminated against a Muslim teenager who claims she was denied a job because she wore a head scarf, according to an Associated Press report.

In the lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 17-year-old Samantha Elauf said she applied for a sales position at the Abercrombie Kids store in the Woodland Hills Mall in June 2008. The teen, who wears a hijab in accordance with her religious beliefs, claims the manager told her the head scarf violates the store’s “Look Policy.”

“These actions constitute discrimination against Ms. Elauf on the basis of religion,” the lawsuit states.

A spokeswoman for the New Albany, Ohio-based retailer declined to comment on the lawsuit but said the company has “a strong equal employment opportunity policy, and we accommodate religious beliefs and practices when possible.”

An attorney for the EEOC claims the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects workers from discrimination based upon religion in hiring. The EEOC said the lawsuit was filed after the agency attempted to reach a voluntary settlement.

The suit seeks back pay for the teen and a permanent injunction against the retailer from participating in what it describes as discriminatory employment practices. It seeks undisclosed monetary and non-monetary losses resulting from “emotional pain, suffering, anxiety, loss of enjoyment of life, humiliation and inconvenience.”

The suit also seeks punitive damages against the company for its “malice or reckless indifference to her federally protected rights.”

In 2004, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. agreed to pay $50 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the EEOC that accused the company of promoting whites over minorities and cultivating a practically all-white image in its catalogs and elsewhere.

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Abercrombie & Fitch files lawsuit against Beyonce

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio A teen clothing retailer has filed a lawsuit against celebrity Beyonce, claiming the name of her upcoming fragrance infringes on its copyright.

Abercrombie & Fitch filed a suit Sept. 15 in U.S. District Court in Columbus against singer Beyonce Knowles, saying that it has held held a trademark for the word “fierce” since 2003, which is the name of its signature fragrance.

Knowles, who recently inked a deal with Coty Inc., was planning on naming her new perfume Sasha Fierce, the name of the performer’s alter ego.

When Knowles applied in September 2008 to trademark “Sasha Fierce” for a fragrance and other items, Abercrombie said in the lawsuit Knowles did not believe there would be any confusion between .

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Home strategy evolves at Kmart

BY CSA STAFF

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Kmart continues to enhance the shopping experience for its customers by making substantial strides in improving and enhancing its home offerings, with the introduction of a broader portfolio of new brands and new designs.

“Last year, the Kmart team of designers, each with diverse backgrounds and expertise began a process of developing new product lines. We have continued to strive to deliver even higher quality, more distinctive design, and greater variety in home fashions,” said Doug Wurl, VP, GMM home fashions for Sears Holdings. “With that in mind, last fall we announced our Jaclyn Smith Home collection. Prior to that launch we added Cannon, the nation’s most recognized line of towels and bedding. We also recently unveiled the Country Living collection. Our customers have responded positively.”

Wurl continued: “After declining to pursue an extension of our contract with Martha Stewart, we are moving beyond an offering that centered on one brand. Kmart is a pioneer in bringing quality, value and style to the American public with our strong stable of brands, each with a distinctive look and feel. With supportive brand partners, we have the ability to innovate in ways that will surprise and delight our customers by bringing new brands, exceptional value and multi-channel experiences to our stores and to our customers’ homes every day. Our customers have told us that they want value, variety and style and, with our designers taking the lead on design and product quality standards, we are continuing to give our customers exactly what they want.”

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