There has been recent publicity about statements made by Abercrombie’s CEO (Michael Jeffries) dating back to 2006, regarding the size range of clothing in his stores aimed at the “young and thin.” I’m among several RetailWire panelists who weighed in on the topic:
A&F has yet to recover from its pre-recession heights, and it’s notable that the quotation attributed to Mr. Jeffries dates from Abercrombie’s glory days in 2006. The company made a series of missteps, from its poor value positioning during the recession, to more recent product development missteps. Mr. Jeffries’s insistence that the larger teen customer is not for him may be consistent with A&F’s brand position, but it is not a good long-term business strategy. There are plenty of fast fashion retailers who have grown in the past five years (Forever 21, Zara, H&M to name a few) while Abercrombie’s cool image has been tarnished.