Abercrombie’s new approach…about time, or too late?

Abercrombie and Fitch is apparently taking a page from its “fast fashion” competitors (Forever 21, Zara, and so forth), in order to move its product development in a faster and cheaper direction. The hope is that A&F can deliver more timely trend merchandise to its stores, at a better value. There is no question that its share has suffered over the past few years, while its senior management has steadfastly refused to make these sorts of moves. Recently, RetailWire panelists discussed whether these tactics will affect A&F’s brand image. Here’s my response:

Brand image? What brand image? A&F is caught in the middle (never a good place to be), between more nimble competitors like Forever 21 on the one hand and more upmarket stores like J. Crew. Abercrombie’s image was built on edgy marketing tactics that lost their luster years ago…the catalog photos and the shirtless male employees. Now a lot of these moves look gimmicky.

The most important thing A&F can do now is to change its sourcing and product development model. Making big bets months in advance on a trend like plaids — and then turning out to be wrong — leaves Abercrombie in a losing position vs. its “fast fashion” competitors. We’ll see whether the company culture can adapt to the new business model.


0 Responses to “Abercrombie’s new approach…about time, or too late?”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: