Abercrombie & Fitch Isn't Doing As Badly As Expected

Only a 2 percent drop in sales!
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Eliza Brooke
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Only a 2 percent drop in sales!
A&F isn't shining (heh) like it once did. Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty

A&F isn't shining (heh) like it once did. Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty

Overall sales for Abercrombie & Fitch may have dropped 2 percent for the first quarter of 2014 -- to $822 million -- but that loss wasn't as bad as analysts had expected. CEO Michael Jeffries noted on an earnings call Thursday morning that sales of its namesake brand and its women's business both improved.

Sales dropped only 1 percent for Abercrombie & Fitch, compared to Hollister's 7 percent dip. On the call, Abercrombie execs said that they believe that Hollister’s female business still has the most room for improvement.

As for recapturing the interest of teen girls -- who have in recent years been moving away from retailers like Abercrombie and American Eagle in favor of more trend-focused stores like Forever21 and H&M -- the team said it is continuing to research that customer base and believes it's evolving its brands "to a place that is more relevant." 

In a report from earlier this month, Morgan Stanley managing director Kimberly Greenberger expressed her skepticism that teen retailers like Abercrombie would be able to reestablish themselves as teenage girls' go-tos based on the limited range of their product assortments. But Abercrombie execs asserted that they're on the right track.  

"I think our assortment for back to school looks a lot better... I think we're doing the right things in terms of planning the season," Jeffries said, declining to get into further specifics about what exactly that product will look like.