Abercrombie and Fitch suddenly has much bigger problems to deal with than an overly-opinionated CEO.
The retailer announced Friday that U.S. sales fell 17 percent in the first quarter of the year, and that future profit forecasts have been cut, according to the Los Angeles Times. On a conference call, the company's CEO, Mike Jeffries, cited inventory shortages as the root of the problem.
The declines in sales actually came before controversy erupted over Jeffries' 2006 remarks, in which he defended the exclusivity of his brand and said the company markets to "cool, good-looking people." The comments' reemergence sparked massive protests from teen activists, bloggers and media personalities alike, who called on Jeffries to start making plus-size clothing for women.
Abercrombie was forced to issue not one, but two apologies about its CEO's off-the-cuff remarks. In the first apology, which was met with severe opposition on Abercrombie's Facebook page, Jeffries said that he "seriously regrets" that his "choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense."
The retailer was forced to make another apology after a group of teen activists went to Abercrombie's headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, to protest Jeffries. After meeting with the activists, Abercrombie issued a statement stating that the brand is committed to "anti-bullying in addition to our ongoing support of diversity and inclusion."