Abercrombie & Fitch joined other teen retailers in a Q2 report that beat expectations, sending shares up 9% Wednesday.
Same-store sales across all brands fell 4%, better than the 8% drop in Q1. The retailer credited its Hollister, abercrombie kids, and international sales for the improvement.
The retailer said Wednesday it will be investing in store improvements and opening new stores in key areas (15 full-price stores abroad, six full-price stores in North America, and 10 outlet stores in the U.S.), but said it will let leases lapse and close 60 stores in the U.S. this year.
Just when teenagers seemed almost incapable of shopping for new clothes at the mall, several teen-apparel retailers seem to be making a comeback. Add Abercrombie to the list; even without a permanent CEO, the company has managed to make the kind of changes needed to regain the attention of its customer. In fact the retailer may be benefiting from the absence of its long-time past CEO.
That is, store employees now have more power over inventory decision-making, which has allowed the company to bring in more of what’s selling and not just what ex-CEO Mike Jeffries wanted to sell, according to The Street's Brian Sozzi. Having that kind of control motivates employees and helps them in their interactions with customers.
The company itself Wednesday noted the change. "Employees may appear happier likely because they have more control over their stores," an Abercrombie & Fitch executive noted on a call with analysts Wednesday.