Abercrombie & Fitch intends on turning its surf brand Hollister into a fast fashion brand to allow it to better compete with rivals like H&M: the Swedish chain is making huge strides with teenagers, leaving A&F behind.
Lower prices, more collections
The brand’s biggest change will be a price drop and more supplies from the United States, to get newer collections into stores faster. That combination has proven to be an important part of H&M’s success, as people visit the stores more often, even with smaller budgets.
To facilitate the switch to fast fashion, Abercrombie is looking for a new Hollister CEO, preferably someone with fast fashion experience.
Hollister had a 2013 turnover of 2.1 billion dollars (1.5 billion euro), which is half of what A&F sells in total, but experienced a like-for-like turnover drop of 14 % in its last fiscal year. Because of that lower turnover, Abercrombie expects to close some 60 to 70 stores in the United States, where most of the Hollister stores are located.
There has been a bit of a struggle in the highest echelons of the company structure because of A&F’s and Hollister’s performance as well, as investment company Engaged Capital is seeking changes in the board - especially CEO Mike Jeffries’ resignation as one of the measures. Jeffries has already been replaced as chairman of the board of directors, but still hangs onto his position of CEO.