Essay: on Abercrombie &amp Fitch

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A&F Case

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (A&F) is a prominent specialty apparel retail chain, with four exclusive lifestyle brands, namely- Abercrombie & Fitch, Gilly Hicks, Abercrombie Kids, and Hollister Co. Instituted in the year 1892, A&F was incorporated in 1996 in Delaware, and via its subsidiaries (A&F, with its subsidiaries, are together denoted as the "Company" or "Abercrombie & Fitch"), it runs retail outlets and direct selling to customers under its four brands (Abercrombie & Fitch, 2011).

The retailer was purchased by The Limited in 1988. In 1992, Michael Jeffries was hired to supervise the chain's operations. Jeffries desired to shift course from the 70 years and above demographic, and focus on a youthful, fast-growing market segment in the age group of 14-24 years. Tweed suits were, thus, replaced by T-shirts and denims. This strategy worked in the store's favor. When it was spun off in 1998 by The Limited, A&F had already become a sensation. Sales figures soared from 165 million dollars (1994) to 1.06 billion dollars (1999). Likewise, the number of retail outlets of A&F also spiked climbed from 36 (1992) to 230 (2000). A&F was ranked at the 6th position in a survey of coolest brands among kids in 1999, outranking both Nintendo and Levi's. In summer 1999, A&F's status as one of the youth culture icons solidified, with LyteFunkie Ones' (LFO's) hit pop number, whose lyrics state how they liked girls looking "like Abercrombie and Fitch" (Olson).

Changes in strategies that would allow these two companies to better position themselves in the minds of consumers?

J. Crew and Banana Republic position themselves as brands for yuppies. Their sites attract consumers towards their garments, styles and hues. Both websites' backgrounds are white, which doesn't distract and divert viewers' attention. Both sites have straightforward, appropriate formats; this offers no motivation to viewers to explore and stay longer on the website. In case of both companies, emphasis is given to the item on offer, and not their models. However, A&F is exactly opposite in this respect. Its site focuses on models and revolves more around models' looks than the apparel itself. Models are showcased in highly appealing positions, with a charcoal dark website background serving to elevate their features. A&F's model club, on its website, enables viewers to look at previous models. J. Crew and Banana Republic could increase their market share by drawing ideas from A&F's website design to make a more attractive background. They could also develop a club (even if not for models, then at least for group administrators, challenges, and/or special occasions), i.e. anything that may serve to keep viewers' attention longer on their websites, and cause viewers/consumers to connect with the company, and feel involved with the brands. They should also utilize Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as social media makes them more visible, and consumers can feel more included.

What can department stores do to make themselves more relevant to the youth subculture?

To modify store images and make themselves more suitable and appealing to the younger generations, department stores ought to reinvent themselves. They must take more youngsters under their wing, particularly in merchandising and design jobs in their youth apparel departments. J.C. Penney and Sears could, possibly, attract more youngsters if they stocked their stores with popular brands like Polo, Hilfiger, Claiborne, and etc. Whether such brands would agree to stock merchandise in department stores, however, remains to be seen (Giordani, Smith, Welch, & Sylvester, 2015).

Department stores can increase their young-shopper percentages by including youth subculture heroes and icons into marketing strategies. Meet-and-greets or store signings could be another means to attract teens and young adults to their stores. This draws guardians and parents along as well, who might make purchases in other departments of the store, thereby increasing store traffic (Little, 2013).

Identify the behaviors, affective responses, and cognitions most important in shopping at each store.

On comparing the submarket of Hot Topic with A&F, the following key observations can be made. Firstly, Hot Topic targets busy, non-conformist shoppers, who… [END OF PREVIEW]

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