Abercromie and Fitch dominated the teeny bopper market for a solid 13 years, but it looks like the one time safari and camping gear producers turned sex appeal paradise might have lost its flare.
Bloomberg Businessweek has the raw facts.
U.S. revenue at Abercrombie’s namesake stores and its Hollister chain slipped 2.5 percent in the first half of fiscal 2012, and the retailer is bracing for lower sales in the second half at stores open for more than a year. Abercrombie, which declined comment for this story, shuttered 71 U.S. stores in its most recent fiscal year, and in February said it will close another 180 through 2015. It now has 1,055 stores worldwide.
Abercrombie is counting on new customers overseas, where it opened 47 locations in its most recent fiscal year and its styles remain fresh and popular with many teens. Still, sales at non-U.S. stores open at least a year plunged 26 percent in the second quarter. Explains Martin Lindstrom, author of Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy: “The pipeline of coolness is disappearing, and once it dries up, then they will dry up.
Abercrombie execs blame the economy for its woes, brand consultants say it also has failed to change with the times. Today’s teens aren’t shelling out hundreds of dollars on clothes just because a company features half naked models in its ads. The new generations are looking for more individuality and less uniform-like fashion lines.