Say goodbye to the ubiquitous moose silhouette and serif-laced font: Abercrombie & Fitch is going logo-less as a last-ditch effort to get teen shoppers back in its stores.
After reporting its tenth-straight decline in quarterly sales this week, troubled A&F CEO Mike Jeffries said the retailer is “looking to take the North American logo business to practically nothing” after the brand had already cut logo-wear by 50 percent. By spring, A&F hopes to look a little more like the products seen inside fast-fashion houses like H&M, Zara and Forever 21: basic, and fashion—not brand—forward.
A&F’s plight is shared by teen retail rivals American Eagle and Aeropostale as well as its own Hollister brand, all of which heavily rely on logo-branded items that have since fallen out of favor with teen shoppers.[more]
With plans to close 60 stores this year, Abercrombie & Fitch’s recovery is far from complete. The brand is continuing to cut costs and speed up its supply chain so that it can better compete with H&M and Forever 21, whose stores are an unending runway of the latest fashions—with products priced much cheaper than anything in A&F’s stores.
“We are confident that the evolution of our assortment will drive further improvements going forward,” Jeffries said on the conference call. “We remain highly focused on returning to top-line growth and driving long-term value for our shareholders.”
While the logo-removal will only largely be felt in North America, A&F isn’t doing so great overseas, either. Its California-inspired sister brand Hollister saw a 10 percent slide in sales this quarter despite efforts to boost the brand with celebrity collections, and both brands continue to fall out of favor with UK teens as they too flock to H&M and Zara.
American Eagle and Aeropostale, which recently launched a rebranding campaign, aren’t much better off. American Eagle reported a 7 percent decline in sales in the second quarter, with an alarming 70 percent drop in earnings. Aero, meanwhile, recently brought back its ex-CEO Julian Geiger in hopes that he could help restore the brand back to its mid-2000s heyday.
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