BUSINESS NEWS: ABERCROMBIE & FITCH DECIDES TO PUT A SHIRT ON
Following former CEO Michael Jeffries’s exit in December, Abercrombie & Fitch decides to change-up its highly sexualized reputation to possibly boosts its sales. The Abercombie image in the ’90s created by Jeffries has become stale and sales have dropped 39% over 12 months – not including store closures. Profits have also staggered due to discrimination suits on unfair hiring policy.
According to WSJ, president of Abercrombie’s Hollister brand Fran Horowitz believes that A&F has strong brands within the label and the company should transition into a less sexualized presentation. The changes include putting shirts back on buff models, changing up shopping bags displaying hairless pecs and abs and doing away with the sales staff title “Model.” They are planning to not hire employees based on physical attractiveness or body type. In addition to changing the employee dress codes and infamous “look policy,” A&F also plans to redecorate their stores.
Horowitz and A&F president Christos Angelides are concerned with the “dark lighting in the stores, the overly strong scent and the clothing displays [that] were turning off customer[s].” Plans to turn the lights back on are in progress and to redecorate obstructing trees that are greatly part of the West Coast aesthetic.
“The things they were doing to create buzz weren’t working anymore,” said Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys’ president. “Shirtless models are so five years ago.”
Not working are their tinier than tiny clothing sizes prompting larger sizes for their womens line and extending their childrens line to as young as three years old.
Their new practices will be implemented starting this Friday. A hope for an “improved sensory experience” will take better than the overpowering 90s impression. They do, however, plan on keeping some abs on their cologne bottles.by