- Kristopher Fraser
Is the brick-and-mortar apocalypse really on top of us, or have some brands
just fallen out of style? Like many brands that were popular in the ’90s
and first decade of the ’00s, Abercrombie & Fitch is working on a
turnaround plan for their company that has been in affect for the last
three years, Last year the brand closed 29 stores, and now they are closing
another 40 this year.
Abercrombie & Fitch isn’t in a particularly unique place, as other popular
90s brands, like Gap, are closing stores by the dozens as well. The
company’s primary goal right now is to turnaround their retail stores,
including their Hollister brand as well. The company is trying to improve
their omnichannel approach to business and revamping stores they think have
the ability to perform better.
Although brick-and-mortar is having some serious growing pains, Abercrombie
& Fitch has had it worse than most. The company has closed 475 stores over
the past eight years, a fleet equivalent to stores that have filed for
bankruptcy. Their CEO Fran Horowitz has stated that the company is still
committed to brick-and-mortar though.
“We are one of the specialty retailers still committed to investing in
physical space,” she said to Fashionista.com.
As reported by Fashionista.com, the company plans on bringing 85 new
experiences, including opening 40 new stores, which will help keep their
store count about the same, even though these will have smaller square
In a ray of hope for the company, they also hit 1 billion dollars in
digital sales last year across all brands. Their e-commerce performance
helped bring overall comparable sales up 3 percent for the fourth quarter
and fiscal year 2018.
With a stronger omni-channel approach and e-commerce business, Abercrombie
& Fitch could be well on their way to a turnaround.
photos: Abercrombie & Fitch Press Room