Hiya, ok so as I’m sure you know (if you don’t then you’re about to learn) I study fashion marketing & branding and at this point it is virtually impossible for me to look online or in store without thinking about the brands marketing strategy and their advertising etc…it’s just a habit at this point.
So this brings us to my recent trip into an Abercrombie & Fitch. Let’s have a fun little history lesson shall we? A&F was the cool hip kid on the street from about 2000-2011/12 ish, which is a pretty long time. Then the whole ‘lets stamp massive logos on bags and clothing’ became a bit obnoxious (not just A&F were a culprit of this, large designers like Louis Vuitton and Burberry also fell victim) and Abercrombie became primarily bought by preteens and the older generations. Not that this is a problem necessarily (my Dad can rock an A&F shirt lemme tell you) but the consumers who tend to buy a lot of product and hype up brands online and through mouth-to-mouth were the consumers who stopped spending money at Abercrombie. Hence, their stock went down, stores closed and A&F became slightly irrelevant.
Skip to today.
I’ve noticed over the last 1 or 2 years that Abercrombie and Fitch have been making some changes in order to attempt to make a comeback. Here’s what I noticed:
The bags/logo in general
As you can see in this image the old printed logo with the moose has been replaced by the old english style cursive font and a ‘Co’ has been added beneath both letters . A&F seem to have become a ‘club’ or at least started branding themselves as one and in the full logo ‘The club’ is printed above. It’s giving me Ralph Lauren vibes. Personally I really like the new logo I think it’s elegant and slightly more mature. In terms of product, the logo is barely visible on most clothing apart from the odd t-shirt (and even on those it’s faded slightly) and tends to be a small stamp in the corner if anything.
The range of product
One of the main things I noticed when perusing the store was the style of clothing seems to have matured slightly and is more focussed on basics and jeans than the typical vest tops, cardigans and trackies that used to overpopulate the store. The jumper below, for example, is such a perfect winter staple and was fairly cheap ($58) for a cable knit chunky sweater when compared to similar retailers like Jack Wills ($99). The quality and fit is also excellent (I’m 5″6 and the XS fits perfectly without being cropped). My recommendation is to check out their new staple which seems to be these very sweet white pleated and lace tops (I don’t know how to describe these accurately CLEARLY) which are also cheap and come in all different styles. (Again, XS was perfect on me).
White tank available here
Black lace top available here
I would also like to add here that the men’s clothing has similarly improved with bomber jackets, chunky cardigans and incredibly soft t-shirts all being on offer. The shirts are also available in relaxed fit not just skinny.
Chunky jumper available here
Overall, the slight alteration in product demonstrates to me that A&F are recognising that they have an older demographic and their loyal consumers from 5 years ago have grown up and moved on into their 20’s hence the slight change from teen retailer to adult.
One thing Abercrombie rarely produced were accessories. They were strictly it seemed a clothing only store however now, you are able to purchase jewellery, totes and larger bags, sunglasses, wallets and other small leather goods. Again, this indicates the recognition of a change in consumer demographic by Abercrombie but is also just a sensible product stretch.
Some other general points I noted;
The stores are lighter and the music softer,
Sizes are larger (I’m 95% sure),
Prices have been taken down (This is a fact, I was told by the employees…you can also see it when you compare) and there are more deals on instore.
Will these changes be enough for A&F to make a complete comeback? I’m not sure but it’s definitely a step in the right direction and they are one of the few stores which has seen it’s demographic change and actually cater to them rather than try to attract their old consumer age group back.
If you want to check them out visit a store or click here
Talk to ya later