In increasing desperation to boost sales, Abercrombie has pledged to continue marking prices “down quite significantly” for the first half of the year. Prices in February were down 14 percent, and the chain doesn’t care if they lose money as long as they finally start showing sales gains month-to-month instead of the double-digit monthly declines they’ve been enjoying.
Chief financial officer Jonathan Ramsden said the company also plans to “reduce the footprint, refocus more and reposition upwards.” By that he means they will close as many as about 100 underperforming stores over the next three years when their leases end. They hope reducing the number of Abercrombie stores will make them seem more premier and elite. The less of something there is, the more exclusive and desirable it should be.
Abercrombie’s strategy isn’t unlike that of saving the planet. Reduce waste — in their case overpriced tank tops and denim — and the next generation can enjoy a healthy, prosperous, and beautiful future. But what if their attempts to “reduce the footprint” come out like Kimora Lee Simmons’s supposed attempts to reduce her carbon footprint on Life in the Fab Lane, where you know that even if she stops taking private planes (which she won’t), the Earth will be the same as it was before? Abercrombie may find that even when they waste not, consumers still want not. In the numerous articles we’ve read about this company’s sad financial state, we’ve seen perhaps no discussion of improving their clothing designs. According to The Wall Street Journal, even analysts have criticized the chain for “offering stale styles.”