Abercrombie & Fitch prototype store – Photo credit: Women’s Wear Daily
I remember my first purchase at Abercrombie & Fitch. I was in sixth grade and needed a new outfit for class pictures. My mom took me to the mall to find the perfect ensemble: a long-sleeve Abercrombie & Fitch top with the logo emblazoned on the chest, with a pair of cool grey swishy pants (also from A&F). What’s crazy is that the store hasn’t really changed since then — until now.
As time went on, Abercrombie was what all the cool kids (now called Millennials) wore. But while we were growing up, Abercrombie & Fitch didn’t mature along with us — until the retailer announced plans for a major rebranding.
I’ve been making a case for Abercrombie’s comeback since the news started to spread. The retailer’s product assortment was — slowly but surely — being updated with fewer logos, more premium denim, cozy sweaters and even trendy items like off-the-shoulder tops. Losing the T-shirts covered in logos was a step in a better direction, in my honest opinion.
But it wasn’t until I saw a photo of the retailer’s new concept store in Women’s Wear Daily that I thought “Wow, Abercrombie could really be a thing again!” The store, which debuted on Feb. 17, 2017 at the Polaris Fashion Mall in Columbus, Ohio, has a boutique feel with toned-down music and mannequins greeting shoppers (instead of, you know, shirtless male employees).
It obviously wasn’t a smooth road for Abercrombie; the retailer faced flagging sales numbers and a bad rap due to its former CEO Mike Jeffries. But it seems to be on the road to recovery. Here are three things I’ve noticed…