After a pleasantly surprising first-quarter increase, Abercrombie’s revenue is up in the second quarter, too! Net income totaled $19.5 million compared with a dismal $26.7 million loss in the same period last year; revenue in stores open at least a year increased 5 percent compared with a 30 percent loss last year. However, basic math tells even the least financially inclined of us that this isn’t enough to completely offset quarter after quarter of embarrassing losses. Investors, too, are weary of the company’s overall financial health. Plus, the company will close 60 stores in the U.S., many of which will just go down when their leases conveniently expire.
Abercrombie plans to open a few Abercrombie, Hollister, and Gilly Hicks (that useful, rare sort of establishment that sells Abercrombie underwear) stores in this country, but is pouring more resources into international expansion — as well they should, since 90 percent of folks shopping our Abercrombies seem to speak English as a second language, if at all. Namesake stores are destined for Copenhagen, Denmark, and Fukuoka, Japan, while twenty Hollister stores will also open around the globe.
But what if international expansion doesn’t lead to the green pastures Abercrombie is dying for? Think about when Topshop opened here: Before it came to the U.S., it was that great store whose brilliance could only be mined after hours of traveling and then a few more dedicated to pillaging. From a distance the allure sparkles, but up close, you’re much more likely to notice the paint chipping off the “silver” jewelry. Or Abercrombie’s international expansion could work the opposite way and be a smashing success, leaving the U.S. stores empty of foreigners and therefore people, with perhaps another round of permanent non-bedbug-related closures. Pickles!