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Thanks to Brand Overhaul, Abercrombie & Fitch Had its Least Bad Quarter This Year

Its men's product is still in need of improvement, though.
An Abercrombie & Fitich store. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

An Abercrombie & Fitich store. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

We're coming up on a year since former Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries, the guy notorious for making remarks about the brand only being for the cool and beautiful, stepped down from his post. The executive change-up ushered in a serious creative and cultural overhaul at the company, a transformation that's still in progress and which was undertaken in the hope of righting Abercrombie's flagging sales. Bit by bit and quarter by quarter, it seems to be working.

On Friday morning, the retailer released its third-quarter sales results, which Executive Chairman Arthur Martinez calls "the strongest validation yet that our initiatives are working." He's not wrong: While Abercrombie's same-store sales were down 5 percent compared to the same time last year, that's better than the 9 and 7 percent decreases we saw in the first and second quarters of the year. Even more reassuringly, Hollister, which was down 1 percent last quarter, broke through to see its own sales grow 3 percent. Total sales across the brands stood at $878.6 million for the quarter.

Following this announcement, Abercrombie & Fitch's stock price jumped 19 percent. Yeah, bitch.

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Of course, Martinez was quick to note that the brand still has a ways to go. While women's tops sold particularly well in the quarter, the men's business is still struggling. Improved men's product should be on its way, though: In June Abercrombie & Fitch poached Club Monaco's lead men's designer, Aaron Levine, whose clothes are set to debut at Abercrombie stores next year.