In a move that surprises no one, Abercrombie & Fitch announced that it will be closing Ruehl by the end of the year. Ruehl, which had pretax losses of $58 million last year, wasn’t exactly helping A&F’s bottom line, which itself wasn’t looking all that rosy. Last month the company finally decided to cut prices after refusing to do so for months, even though competitors had already slashed away. And its stock prices had plunged. But the powers that be felt that marking down merch would make the brand seem cheap.
Adding to the company’s woes are lawsuits filed by employees who claimed they were discriminated against, including a British woman with a prosthetic arm who was, she says, forced to work in the stockroom for not fitting in with the store’s image. Well, at least there’s that new children’s store to keep the company afloat.
A&F Decides Ruehl’s Fate [WWD]