Abercrombie & Fitch to close more stores
The retailer will shutter at least 180 locations through 2015 and turn its focus to online growth and international expansion.
The retailer will close at least 180 more underperforming stores through 2015 as their leases expire. It might even buy out the leases in other cases, executive Eric Cerny said Wednesday at an investing conference.
The company's U.S. store count was down to 946 at the end of January. So taking 180 more out of the mix is about a 20% reduction. That's pretty significant.
The retailer's shares have fallen 16% in the past year and traded at $47.82 Wednesday afternoon.
Abercrombie just isn't the hot item it used to be. Teens these days are flocking to Polo from Ralph Lauren (RL) and other brands. But internationally, Abercrombie & Fitch is doing great, so it's naturally putting all of its emphasis on its online business and global expansion.
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The company has put aside $300 million to invest in new international stores. It will open its third Hollister store in China this weekend. A new flagship store in Hong Kong is coming in the middle of this year, and a Shanghai flagship store is in the works.
The company plans to open 30 to 40 international Hollister stores a year and three to five flagship stores a year.
Closing U.S. stores will help the company, Cerny said. It will get out of the lower-end locations where volumes are low and there are too many promotional markdowns. As a result, the closures will elevate the overall brand, he added.
Promotions are a way of life in the U.S., CEO Michael Jeffries said in the company's fourth-quarter earnings call. But the company doesn't promote much at all internationally.
So that's the new Abercrombie & Fitch, at least in the U.S. There will be fewer stores and fewer markdowns, which may help the company's cachet. The focus will turn to online sales domestically, while international expansion continues at a rapid pace.
Want more sales then improve the stores customer service, improve the clothing quality and lose your attitude. You’re a clothing store and not a collection of noble laureates curing cancer.
Personally I hope they fail. That is all
If they would design and manufacture clothes for human beings people would buy their clothes. Any guy with muscles cannot wear anything from Hollister.
And with the American population getting fatter and fatter that means less and less kids can fit into their beanpole no figure clothes.
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