Abercrombie & Fitch vows larger sizes, more selection for women
By Jennifer Osieczanek
Abercrombie & Fitch, the once powerful fashion retailer for teens, announced it plans to add larger sizes and more colors to its line of women’s tops and start selling shoes in hopes of winning back its customers.
The company, whose CEO Mike Jeffries created controversy by saying Abercrombie’s clothing is not for “fat” people, currently does not offer a size above large for women. Abercrombie & Fitch also is coming off its seventh quarterly fall in sales in a row.
“We recognize that our businesses have been and will continue to be disrupted by both fast fashion and pure play e-commerce competitors,” Leslee Herro, Abercrombie’s head of planning and allocation, said at an analyst briefing on Wednesday.
The “fast fashion” Herro refers to include H&M and Forever 21, companies that quickly turn around current trends at low costs. Such retailers have been eating into Abercrombie & Fitch’s share of the teen market.
Abercrombie & Fitch’s increased competition, struggling sales and its own bleak holiday outlook caused the company’s shares to close down 14 percent Wednesday. Overall, Abercrombie & Fitch shares have lost about 30 percent of their value this year.
In order to stem the bleeding, Abercrombie & Fitch’s plan is to have a broader selection of women’s top in stores by spring. Shoes and other accessories should be on the shelves by the time teens are shopping for back-to-school styles.
Unfortunately for Abercrombie & Fitch, it may not be enough.
“While the company is playing good defense by cutting expenses, this does little to revitalize what we believe is a stale brand,” Stifel Research analyst Richard Jaffe told Reuters.
Read more about Abercrombie & Fitch here.
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