Abercrombie and Fitch seem to be having a tough time of it at the minute, once a retail juggernaut the company is now in the midst of a corporate PR-struggle. The company has hit headlines for all the wrong reasons over recent years, with controversies such as the fat-shaming by their boss and cultural and racial prejudices against their own employees. Now Abercrombie has announced it wants to completely rebrand itself and its merchandise. The business that made a name for itself selling A&F emblazoned clothes is now going to be going logo-free (at least in North America to begin with).
This revamp is likely down to the company quickly losing what was once a strong customer base of teenagers, teenagers are also becoming a lot more socially aware and the brand has even developed a bit of a stigma around it, especially considering that it is aimed at teenagers but is worn more by middle-aged men. Add this to the fact that Abercrombie have always been too rigid in their clothing beliefs – not incorporating any black into their range, recycling their own pattern and styles throughout the seasons and having limited sizes for women.
So what will the lack of Abercrombie’s traditional logos and slogans help achieve? Well it has become more apparent that teenagers are becoming a lot more confident in themselves and their styles, where once style was about fitting in and Abercrombie helped young people excel at this, teenagers are now wanting to stand out amongst the crowd.
Unfortunately for Abercrombie, this change in teen behaviour caught them on exactly the wrong side of the trend. Now teenagers who once sought the logo tees are now swapping them in favour for cheaper, unmarked clothing that allows them to show their own personal style and be seen as more of an individual rather than someone who was just seen as wearing Abercrombie.
But Abercrombie isn’t the only company that has been making these changes, the fall of the logo has been hitting other fashion powerhouses such as Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Coach, who have all decided to limit their products that use logos.
Will this help Abercrombie turn around there falling sales? The company is definitely seeking to shrink its store footprint after what was a huge expansion across many different countries. It has been reported that the company is planning to close 60 stores this year as their leases expire. It is at least good to see that Abercrombie are willing to change their marketing and merchandise after they so firmly planted themselves in the logo market. Their belief that their initial strong sales would last and this shortsightedness is perhaps their biggest downfall and now they have to move aggressively to new styles.
Another factor they didn’t seem to count on is the fact that other retailers such as H&M, Zara and Forever 21 began to rule the teen market due to their constantly evolving merchandise and lower prices. Only time will tell if these changes will allow Abercrombie to survive in a competitive and forever changing market.