When you think about Abercrombie & Fitch, what comes to mind? For me, it’s a combination of shirtless men, plus ultra low-rise jeans, moose-clad polos, & flip flops we all went crazy for in middle school back when that brand was still relevant. Back in the day, A&F’s Mike Jeffries, who is famous for his love of exclusivity, was quoted saying that he wanted to market his overpriced clothing to only “cool, beautiful people”, promising that Aber would never ever stock clothing in sizes over “L”. Today? Jeffries is eating his words. Starting in the summer of 2014, Abercrombie and Fitch will begin selling clothes “beyond a US size 10”. Why? Because they’re failing, of course: As a company, A&F’s stock has fallen roughly 30% in the last year, which Abercrombie’s execs blame partially on the fast fashion movement, as well as e-commerce.
Plus-size offerings, however, aren’t the only big changes for the brand–A&F is also set to produce “tops in a greater variety of styles”, offer more colors (did you know they currently don’t sell anything black?!), and begin selling shoes. Not just flip flops. Real shoes. And sadface for underwear lovers, A&F is also closing all of their standalone Gilly Hicks lingerie stores to cut costs. Ouch!
Do you think these changes will help save the brand, or is it too little too late for Abercrombie & Fitch?
Liza, Editorial Director