photo: Daniel Spils via flickr.
As Corporate Responsibility magazine puts it, shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch "requires an act of faith." Not one that you can actually look like their models, but because the company has just absolutely zero transparency. So does Weight Watchers, and 28 other companies (most of which seem to be in financial services, insurance, or real estate). All of them have made CR Mag's first-ever "Black List".All told there are 30 companies on the List which provide the absolute minimum amount of data required to keep their public status and not run afoul of the Securities & Exchange Commission.
In announcing the list, CR Mag said,
From their lack of disclosure, we do not know if they are afraid of the data due to poor performance, if they are thumbing their noses at us, or worse, if they are not even aware that stakeholders care. It is a cliché that "what gets measured gets managed," but it is also true that "what gets reported got measured." So at a minimum, without transparency, we have no idea what any particular company thinks is important enough to measure.
click here to view the full list [PDF]
Interestingly, CR Mag analysis shows for three-year returns on shareholder value for their 100 Best companies in terms of transparency and the 30 companies on the Black List, those companies which were most transparent also performed better. The average return for the top 100 was +2.374%, while for the bottom 30 was -7.378%.