Abercrombie To Try Discounting

In an effort to turn around sales, Abercrombie & Fitch executives are considering cutting prices at its stores, a strategy that it has refused to undertake to compete with other chains.

The retailer definitely needs to do something. During its most recent quarter, same-store sales fell a whopping 30% year over year, while net sales fell 23%. Those are bad numbers even in this crazy environment.

One thing that seems to worry management though is ruining the perception of Abercrombie’s exclusivity. The Wall Street Journal quoted an analyst saying that Abercrombie doesn’t it felt like there is a “fire sale” at stores.

But can’t management lower prices without making extreme cuts. In this economy it seems that exclusivity is less important to the consumer than getting a deal. Or does discounting truly lead to brand deterioration?

6 Responses to “Abercrombie To Try Discounting”

  1. 1 james August 19, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Why do corporate brain signals only run in one direction?? If you want to perserve and enhance your “exclusive brand” take the high road, maintain integrity with your customer, and offer higher quality better designed products at current pricing levels. WOW what a revolution, that would actually mean that you think your customer has a brain in their head too!. Then when the economy recovers you could actually begin raising your prices again without having to apologize for your previous stupidity.
    We don’t need yet another store selling cheap beat to death cotton goods. Oh, and please turn the volumne down on that stupid sound track in the store.

  2. 2 Hooman Ghaffari August 19, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Price always dictates exclusivity. Look at the Gap and Levi’s trying to compete against True Religion. A discount Abercrombie is basically American Eagle, and no one confuses them with one another. If Abercrombie wants to maintain their position, they cannot cut prices, they need to cut locations and reduce their footprints – too much inventory in too big stores. Ultimately though, changing tastes in clothing stles may have a bigger impact on Abercrombie than prices.

  3. 3 Cool Springs August 19, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Abercrombie has always been overcharging for subpar goods. Ive bought several things at the one in the Cool Springs Galleria and they seemed to just fall apart. I understand the stuff is supposed to be trendy but the quality is so poor its hard to justify buying any of it.

  4. 4 james August 20, 2009 at 8:45 am

    I have never understood the attraction behind buying clothes that are already worn out, let alone paying a premium for the priviledge. Americans look like crap in shabby beat up wrinkly poor fitting cotton clothes that are literally falling apart. The rest of the world must be laughing themselves silly at our foolishness. What insanity has driven the fashion world to emulate ghetto rags and then sell that to whiteface America? And why do middle class Americans want to look like gangster ghetto waifes? Isn’t it about time for a change folks? What happen to our self-respect along the way? Any chance stores like Abercrombie could start leading the way instead of following the fashion idiots into the next ditch?

  5. 5 Mark August 23, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    It’s about time. I guess news has fiinally reached the hinterlands of Ohio that we are in a crisis.

    The Abercrombie & Fitch Execuitve Team in Columbus, Ohio should get their sorry butts out of stagnant, middle America and see what’s going on with true US and world brands that have high value – and how they are handling the world economic issues relative to retail pricing, even if it is temporary. This Execuitve Team clearly have an over-inflated opinion of their Abercrombie brand – this is no longer the storied retailer of long ago catering to carriage trade adults with tons of money in post-Industrial era America. Wake up Executive Team!

    Lowering prices is prudent – kids understand (generally) what is going on out there today, and even adults are refraining from spending $50-60-70 on a button down, long sleeved shirt no matter what names is on the label. What makes this brain-fogged Executive Team think that households will tolerate their kids paying that much for goods, other than to wear the items as “flags” flying in the face of intelligence and good judgment in uncertain times? A full price Abercrombie “anyting” is like admitting you are either 1) too rich to care or 2) irresponsible with your own finances. Either way – too rich or too irresponsible – you are looking outright dumb.

    Another thing: take down those outrageously obnoxious plantation shutters on the store front windows! 50 to 100 feet of store front – and you can’t see a damned thing, other than bare chested, butt-cracked teens in the narrow entryway who formerly bought at full price! How the #$%@ do you expect anyone to even SEE what you are selling with shutters completely obliterating the goods from eye contact?

    And I agree with a former writer here: turn down the loud music. It’s not that great.

    Good luck – you need it. And the ship may already be listing too far to even be saved.

    Great going for being stubborn and egotistical.

    I think the entire team needs to be replaced – flush the idiots.

    • 6 james August 25, 2009 at 8:04 pm

      I guess we shouldn’t expect too much from A&F! Weak egos are easily inflated, then encrustation sets in where nary an original idea shall ever perculate. The world has changed and many of the retailers discussed on this board just don’t get it.
      How do the best and brightest so quickly become the worst and dullest?

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