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Posts Tagged ‘Abercrombie & Fitch’

Abercrombie Drops Logo from Clothing, Deprives Bros Everywhere of Identities

abercrombie-and-fitch-clothes-for-womenThanks 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

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Abercrombie & Fitch Revamps Its Stores, Adds a Little Black, And Gets Serious About the Internet

abercrombie IGAbercrombie & Fitch has had its fair share of ups and downs. And now they’re definitely in a slump. Sales are down (77 percent last year), the CEO, Mike Jeffries, is under siege for not moving the company forward and they’ve insulted just about everyone in one way or another.

It’s time for a change, and A&F has decided it will “appeal to a new generation of teens by toning down the stores’ nightclub vibe, minimizing the chain’s signature logos and enlisting so-called Instagram kids in marketing,” says Bloomberg.

That Instagram comment is a little worrying, but the changes that are described are actually pretty dramatic considering how A&F previously presented itself.

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Abercrombie & Fitch Opts for Severe Corporate Makeover

shutterstock_131601398Another troubled company has taken its plastic surgery experiments beyond the cosmetic: this morning Abercrombie & Fitch announced an internal re-structuring that resembles a last-minute attempt to reverse its own failing fortunes.

The company voted to add three new appointees to its board of directors, terminate its “poison pill” shareholders’ rights plan and, perhaps most significantly, officially separate the Chairman and CEO roles.

To summarize, perpetual mouth-in-foot victim Mike Jeffries will remain the company’s leader in name only; the board has effectively re-asserted control over A&F by limiting the power of both its shareholders and its public face.

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Here’s a Simple Solution to Abercrombie’s Reputation Problems

how-abercrombie-justifies-paying-ceo-mike-jeffries-more-during-a-downturnAnd the answer is…drumroll please…dump the CEO!

It’s almost too simple, right? Abercrombie & Fitch would probably be better off in the long run if they produced some decent clothes or engaged in a little bit of that magic we call “rebranding”—but for now investors seem to think that chief super-douche Mike Jeffries needs to GTFO ASAP.

Unfortunately, BuzzFeed reports that the reason one “activist” Wall Street investor is so done with Jeffries has more to do with falling stock prices than the fact that he’s an idiot with a chronic case of Foot In Mouth Syndrome. The investment firm’s “open letter” is long and tedious if you don’t work in finance, and there’s a bunch of stuff about mismanagement and failed attempts at expansion. But we’ll summarize: Money good. Jeffries bad. Contract ends in February. HINT HINT HINT.

It would be a real shame if the guy who said “Dude, I’m not an old fart who wears his jeans up at his shoulders” could no longer afford to pay models to wear “proper underwear” on his corporate jet, wouldn’t it?

Abercrombie to Carry Larger Sizes After ‘Cool Kid’ Controversy

images-8Remember when Abercrombie & Fitch‘s CEO affirmed what most of us already knew — that his brand’s clothes were only meant for thin, attractive, cool kids? Yeah, apparently everyone else remembers too, and the company’s plummeting business is proof.

A&F shares fell 10.4 percent to $34.35 this week after the company reported a seventh quarterly fall in same-store sales in a row and warned of a less-than optimistic prediction for the holiday season.

Now, in an attempt to make nice and win back some of its disillusioned customers, Abercrombie says it plans to expand sizes, colors and fits for all its styles next year. The new sizes, along with a new accessory line, are expected to appear in stores come spring.

While we suppose any teen-targeted brand becoming more inclusive is a positive thing, this is pretty clearly an act of desperation, not of good will; Basically, we see this as the business equivalent of a cool kid losing popularity because of some serious jackassery, and then turning to the not-so-cool kids the night before his homecoming party and saying, “Actually, you can totally come to my party,” for fear no one else will show up.

Abercrombie & Fitch Knows What the Fox Says

Nothing says desperation like grabbing the latest, most annoying YouTube sensation and holding on for dear life (not that it’s much of a workout with abs like these).

Well, that was…bizarre. Now that everyone hates Abercrombie & Fitch due to its stated bias against non-models and hijabs, we suppose that providing cheap grist for the clickbait mill is one way to get attention.

Let’ hope it’s not enough, because A&F is quickly running out of people to offend and we’ve taken more than our share of schadenfreude from the decline and fall of Mike Jeffries’ soft-core empire.

Sorry for making you sit through that one.

Broke Teenagers May Be Wearing Old Fashions in New School Year

When much of the public thinks about back-to-school sales we imagine forlorn kids beings prodded by their parents down supermarket aisles that offer the latest in educational gadgetry, classroom essentials, and overpriced organizers.

Teenagers, however, have their own–and very high stakes–back-to-school rituals that are less focused on education and more focused on (even obsessed with) fashion. Being cool in high school is paramount. Nothing else matters. And for decades corporate America has been ruthlessly efficient in fulfilling and cultivating the superficial needs of teenagers who would do or pay just about anything for a pair of the coolest shoes or the trendiest jacket. The ongoing recession, however, is changing all of that.

Brands like Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters are struggling not only because the parents of these teenagers are having a difficult time making ends meet, but the kids themselves are broke. It’s easy to think of the recession as an adult problem, but many teenagers who relied on steady jobs for spending money are learning a critical lesson in the value of money.

Most adults would agree this is an overdue and healthy development. But let’s not forget the societal pressures of being a teenager. After all, they learned to be superficial from us. It’s difficult to preach to your children about the importance of budgeting when you’re holding a $4 cup of coffee. Nevertheless, as we all learn to do more with less, many back-to-school brands are finding themselves in the same predicament as their customers: How do you live with less money? Read more

If You Got Sick, Would You Want To Be Rushed To The Abercrombie & Fitch ER?

Ohio State University is gearing up to name its emergency center the Abercrombie & Fitch Emergency Department, recognizing the $10 million donation the company has made to the school. This is actually the second Columbus hospital to dedicate an ER to the clothing brand. We’ll give you a moment to wrap your head around that…

A&F is based in New Albany, OH and seems to be making a point of ensuring the state’s hospitals are well-funded. The company has also donated money to create the Abercrombie & Fitch Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

And, against the protests of a group called the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Nationwide Children’s Hospital has renamed its emergency center after A&F donated $10 million in 2006. The Campaign objects to what it calls Abercrombie’s sexualization of children in its ads, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

It’s crazy that this is the same company that got into hot water just a few months ago for saying that its clothes are only for a certain hip demographic.

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Abercrombie Attempts to Prove Relevance by Reincarnating Decade-Old Campaign. Ironic or Effective?

In case anyone out there actually had hopes that Abercrombie & Fitch might change its marketing tune after finding itself embroiled in controversy this past spring, the brand’s latest campaign will probably be a major disappointment. If the clothing retailer’s newest effort seems like more of the same to you, that’s because it is — exactly the same.

Rather than make any sort of attempt at re-branding, A&F is doing exactly the opposite: the company is reincarnating its successful “Stars on the Rise” campaign from the early 2000s, which featured then-budding celebs like Taylor Swift and Ashton Kutcher. The updated effort features 11 “up-and-coming” actors including Alexander Ludwig from The Hunger Games, American Horror Story’s Lily Rabe, and Glee star Jacob Artist (we’re particularly sad about this last one, as we sort of thought the whole Abercrombie-is-only-for-cool-kids thing would make for a great episode of the equality/inclusion/self-esteem-themed show).

When asked about the campaign, Abercrombie’s director of marketing and public relations Michael Scheiner told Buzzfeed, “For many of our consumers today, they might not know what we did in 2005, so it seemed relevant to discuss this concept we’ve done in the past.”

It seems A&F is hoping that recreating a campaign from its heyday may also recreate the popularity the brand experienced during the same time period. But this strategy assumes the current audience will be equally receptive to the message, an assumption which — given the recent backlash against the brand and the current anti-bullying/pro-inclusion landscape — may be a gamble. Read more

Abercrombie & Fitch Apologizes for CEO’s ‘Cool Kid’ Comments

Abercrombie & Fitch has been embroiled in controversy since Business Insider re-published disturbing comments CEO Mike Jeffries made in a 2007 Salon article, including doozies like, “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely,” and “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids…we go after the cool kids.”

In a society deeply engaged in anti-bullying discussions and efforts to make standards of beauty and “coolness” more inclusive, these comments ignited a widespread and fiery backlash, including a grassroots re-branding campaign and a petition.

The petition, started by 18-year-old Benjamin O’Keefe (who has himself overcome an eating disorder), garnered over 70,000 signatures and asked the company to stop sending the message that teens aren’t beautiful, demanding A&F start selling clothes larger than a size 10.

Here’s a graphic recently published in the Huffington Post, which shows the major hit Abercrombie & Fitch has taken over the past month. For the full effect, we recommend listening to this audio clip of a nosediving airplane while viewing the graph.

After a brief apology Jeffries recently posted on Facebook failed to turn the tide, the company invited O’Keefe and members of the National Eating Disorders Association to its headquarters in Columbus, OH last week to discuss their concerns with executives. After the meeting, A&F released this statement: Read more