In a major change to its merchandising, New Albany, OH-based Abercrombie & Fitch is toning down its once-ubiquitous logo-centric approach to apparel design, the company said.
Teenagers are looking for more unique, less corporate clothes, and spending less on apparel in general — to save money and to buy technological gadgets like smartphones.
The retailer said Thursday that it missed revenue estimates, and that same-store revenue decreased 11% overall and 8% at U.S. stores.
The change from in-your-face, logo-centric apparel is especially noteworthy at a retailer that has prized itself for its exclusivity — at times too much so. This presents a challenge in merchandising because it makes it harder for Abercrombie to differentiate itself from other teen-apparel retailers, which are also struggling and which are also hotly pursuing fashion trends.
Still, it seems the retailer really has no choice: Kids don’t want to wear the company’s logo anymore.
"In the spring season, we are looking to take the North American logo business to practically nothing," CEO Mark Jeffries said during the company’s earnings conference call Thursday. That used to be the retailer's approach to clothing its models; how times have changed.