For the first time since 2012, Abercrombie & Fitch is growing. Over the course of 2015, we reported on the steady improvements in Abercrombie's sales figures, the result of a concerted rebranding effort at the company. That doesn't mean it was kicking ass, just that it was climbing out of the hole into which it had fallen. But on Wednesday, the retailer reported that in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, its revenue finally tipped into positive growth.
Yeah, Abercrombie only improved on its results for the same period in 2014 by 1 percent, but that follows 8 percent, 4 percent and 1 percent drops in the first, second and third quarters of 2015, respectively. And yeah, sales were still down 2 percent for the company's namesake brand, while Hollister achieved 4 percent growth in the fourth quarter. Comparable sales in Europe, led by Germany and the UK, were also better than they were stateside, and China, now Abercrombie's fourth largest market, looks promising. But hey.
On a call with investors, Abercrombie execs said that this improvement validates their turnaround efforts thus far, though they were careful to add that they've got plenty of work to do. They remained hazy on the next phase of Abercrombie's repositioning, but a big part of that will be the introduction of its new design leads' creations, which will start hitting stores in the back half of the second quarter of the year and become more visible as the year progresses.