- Zackery Michael/Abercrombie & Fitch
The teen retailer has been paring down its store count in the US for years.
The new closures will bring Abercrombie’s total number of stores down to about 674, which is a 20% drop since 2013.
Abercrombie is shutting down more stores following a dismal fourth quarter in which same-store sales at its namesake brand declined 13%.
The company has been trying to win back customers by revamping its brand and redesigning its stores to be brighter and less nightclubby. The store was known for its thumping music and strong wafts of cologne in the air.
In another major shift, the retailer stopped printing logos on everything in response to teens’ shifting preferences for clothing without any identifiers.
But the changes weren’t enough to stop sales from sliding.
In a news release, the company blamed the sales declines in part on promotional activity among its competitors.
“The competitive environment resulted in more promotional activity and a lower gross margin rate than planned,” said Abercrombie CEO Fran Horowitz. “The Abercrombie brand renewal continues, although it is a work in progress.”
Abercrombie joins a long list of other mall-based retailers that have announced closures this year.
JCPenney announced last week that it would close up to 140 stores in the next couple of months, following decisions by Macy’s and Sears to close a collective 218 stores in the first half of the year. Other mall-based stores including American Apparel, The Limited, Bebe, BCBG, and Payless have also recently announced that they are shutting down all or most of their stores.