Party's Over, Kids: Abercrombie & Fitch Returns To "Retail 101"

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-1Photo: David Sandison/REX USA


Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries is pulling a few pages from Dad's playbook. One: Turn on the lights. Two: Have that guy put some clothes on.

After the chain suffered declining sales over the last four quarters and lagging profits, Bloomberg toured its Ohio campus and a set of test stores to see what was afoot. "The blinds on Abercrombie windows are gone, and the company is experimenting with window displays for the first time," the trade notes. "Gone, too, are the ubiquitous photos of abs that have offended so many people over the years; they have been replaced with images and mannequins touting the clothes," now in bigger (but nobody said "plus") sizes and without A&F logos or various wildlife decals. The retailer also plans to introduce black garments. ('Crombie Goths — just think of the expanding demo potential!) And, Abercrombie will up its social-media presence, partnering with as-yet-unnamed fashion bloggers on Instagram.

Furthermore, Jeffries is ceding part of his duties to incoming presidents of the Hollister and Abercrombie kids lines and has appointed a chief operating officer. Topeka Capital Markets analyst Dorothy Lakner pointed out to Bloomberg's Lindsey Rupp, "They're radical changes for Abercrombie, but for everybody else they're kind of Retail 101." Ah, Retail 101 — a high school course we cut in order to hit the mall. (Bloomberg)