Abercrombie & Fitch facing the transition period

Abercrombie & Fitch plans to close about 30 stores this year as it continues to focus on its transition to omnichannel retail, company officials said Tuesday (May 24) during a conference call with investors and analysts.

About a third of Abercrombie’s store leases are up for renewal this year, a higher percentage than its usual 25%, said Scott Lipesky, executive vice president and chief financial officer, who noted that the company would be more focused on… improving the user experience in its stores and collecting more digital customer data.

“It looks like we’re ready to return to some form of normalcy, but we’re also in extremely inflationary times,” A&F CEO Fran Horowitz said on the call. “We keep a close eye on our consumers. With five brands, we will not take a one-size-fits-all approach. We stay close to our customers and execute on our proven playbook. We believe we are stronger, smarter and faster than ever. »

Abercrombie & Fitch shares fell more than 30% in early trading on Tuesday, so it looks like investors will need to be confident the company can execute on the plan it’s laid out as well as what it plans to unveil. at his Investor Day on June 14, where Horowitz said he would discuss “the next phase of our journey.”

Regarding the first quarter of fiscal 2022, which ended April 30 and looking forward to the second quarter and beyond, “we are focused on controlling what we can control,” said she said, noting that inflationary pressures and supply chain issues present some variables that need to be overcome.

Net sales increased 4% company-wide to $812.8 million in the first three months of the fiscal year.

Abercrombie & Fitch is also focusing more on social commerce, saying it achieved its biggest success in this space in the first quarter “and we’re not satisfied,” Horowitz said, referring to an upcoming pairing with The Trevor Project and Hollister tie-ins with TikTok and Facebook Live.

Related: Digital sales play a big role in Abercrombie & Fitch’s fourth quarter story

Abercrombie & Fitch successfully transitioned to an omnichannel retailer late last year, largely out of necessity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the retail industry over the past two last years.



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