Thanks to changing tastes of the teen demographic and the landslide of bad press the company has received over the past year, the Abercrombie & Fitch brand no longer wields the same power it once did. With sales continuing to flounder, the clothing retailer has decided to abandon its time-honored tradition of plastering its name and logo on virtually every piece of attire it sells, effectively robbing rich frat boy types of their identities.
“In the spring season, we are looking to take the North American logo business to practically nothing,” Mark Jeffries, CEO of A&F told investors on a conference call. And in a note to investors Thursday, Richard Jaffe, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, noted that “it’s taking time to win back customers.” But he believes that the merchandise changes are “gaining traction.”
While much of the brand’s weakening can likely be attributed to the recent Abercrombie-only-wants-pretty-and-cool-kids-wearing-their-clothes controversy, this branding shift is also about keeping up with the changing preferences of teens, who are more interested in standing out as individuals (while all wearing the same trendy top from H&M or Forever 21) than fitting in under a universally-recognized logo. Read more