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How abercrombie fitch wants to reclaim the heart teenagers

The smooth image that always wanted to give abercrombie and fitch uk, through hairless virginal and its advertising model, glue less with the reality of the operation of its business.

U.S. distributor for teenage clothing silver accumulates difficulties quarter after quarter, sales fell, while profitability, which exceeded 20% of revenue in the mid-2000s, collapsed a little over 3 % in 2013. recipe, which has enabled the brand from 1996, date of its IPO, and 2008, multiplied by 20 sales and profits by 60, no longer works.

Since the financial crisis, abercrombie and fitch sale fail to rebound. Faced with a more responsive to the tastes of teenagers and more competitive in terms of price competition, the group's CEO, Mike Jeffries, who heads the brand since 1992, is on the spot.

On 28 January, he had to leave his position as president of the board in favor of Arthur Martinez, a former leader of the U.S. distributor Sears. Adjustments that the activist funds Engaged Capital, which owns 0.5% of the capital, a judge "insufficient". He claims the departure of Mr. Jeffries, it considers no longer earn his pay more than $ 8 million (5.7 million euros). Under pressure, the latter attempts to revive the brand by outlining a new strategy.

Queue, which stretches some afternoons along the window's flagship on Fifth Avenue in New York, should not illusion. The magic in the 2000s, has made Abercrombie balances one of the most iconic brands in adolescents has largely evaporated. Remains the heady perfume of the brand, whose scents emerge onto the sidewalk where a few bunches of tourists are still willing to queue to enter the temple of fashion stalled.

abercrombie uk woman fell 10% in the fiscal year that ended on February 1. Sister brand Hollister, made ​​worse with a decline of 14%, while abercrombie outlet uk down 5%. Results that require the group to fold the wing. This year, from 60 to 70 stores would close in the United States a total of 843 since 2010, the group has already closed 220.

"During the 2000s, the group has grown aggressively, perhaps too aggressive, that he managed until the fashion trends do reverse the last two years," says the analyst financial Shaun Currie, SCR. For what has long been its success - classicism, simplicity collections and ostensible display of the brand - not to justify prices well above the competition. T-Shirt and $ 40 sweatshirt $ 80 went from being a "must have" essential to the annoying and unnecessary.

At the same time, brands such as Forever 21, Zara, Uniqlo and H & M have shown a great ability to adapt to demand. Especially abercrombie and fitch uk badly driven its success for years, its rarity has maintained its appeal and allowed to justify its high price. But by multiplying the stores, the brand has become commonplace when the target adolescents seeks to differentiate itself. Forever 21 and H & M Wholesale EVA Shoes have understood by proposing collections constantly renewed through short and responsive supply chains.


Faced with this challenge, Mr. Jeffries has decided to upgrade its two brands, differentiating better, and assigning a pattern to each of them. Over time, cheap hollister clothes uk, too close in terms of product and target customers, eventually cannibalize the second simply offering cheaper offerings.

The operational group director, Jonathan Ramsden said that now "cheap abercrombie and fitch uk is a premium brand, while Hollister is more fast fashion", that is to say a more responsive to changing trends brand, with products available that encourage customers to renew their wardrobe. "We need to be competitive on price, especially for women's fashion, and we will drastically reduce the average cost per garment," promised Mr. Jeffries, presenting the results of the group on 26 February.


To provide more variety in its stores, Abercrombie has decided to open its stores in other brands. A first experiment was launched there is little in Hollister, with Keds shoes, an American brand for women, the universe remains relatively close to the distributor. It did not disclose the marks which he could appeal, but stated that this diversification cover both clothes, shoes and accessories.

abercrombie london. Finally, the group has decided to accelerate the opening of outlet stores for which specific collections will be manufactured. Meanwhile, the reduction of stores should continue. "Half of the leases expire in three years, which will provide an opportunity for the company to rationalize its store base," says Currie.

This strategic shift has he done with or without Mr. Jeffries? The question is since the new president of the group said in early March to Wall Street Journal that the succession to the head of the company was one of the subjects studied by the Board of Directors.
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