- 13 WAYS TO KNOW IF THE GOVERNMENT IS READING YOUR EMAILPosted 2 days ago
- 13 Ways To Know If The Government Is Reading Your EmailPosted 2 days ago
- Video: Piers Morgan Says Obama is Borderline Tyrannical: ‘Now I See U.S. Government Tyranny’Posted 6 days ago
- FAMILIES OF DECEASED SEAL TEAM 6 MEMBERS ARE MAKING SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENTPosted 16 days ago
- European Commission to Criminalize Nearly all Seeds and Plants not Registered with GovernmentPosted 17 days ago
- After the Tragedy in Boston, More Government Surveillance is Not the AnswerPosted 18 days ago
- Video: Obama To Ohio State Grads-Reject Voices That Warn About Government TyrannyPosted 19 days ago
- AMERICANS FEAR GOVERNMENT MORE THAN TERRORPosted 26 days ago
- The Art of Catching Government False Flags in Real TimePosted 26 days ago
- SECRET GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS REVEAL VACCINES TO BE A TOTAL HOAXPosted 32 days ago
How Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries Is Screwing Up America’s Sexiest Brand
Abercrombie & Fitch has spent the better part of two decades being one of America’s hottest brands.
It might as well have a trademark on six-pack abs in advertising; its strategy of using sex to sell the preppy look to teenagers has been a gigantic success, and it’s all thanks to CEO Michael Jeffries and his infamous refusal to compromise on style, pricing and branding.
However, Abercrombie & Fitch has a cyclical problem. When recessions happen, Jeffries refuses to compromise his premium pricing. A&F has thus seen its sales decline while competitors like Aéropostale post consecutive quarters of growth. For many, the idea of Abercrombie continuing with its current strategy in these economic conditions is insane, and the numbers are beginning to back up the doubters.
Abercrombie has also had mixed results in innovating new brands. There was Hollister (success), but there was also Ruehl (failure).
Now, coming off perhaps the worst year since 1977 when the 114 year-old company declared bankruptcy, people are wondering whether Jeffries, the man who made Abercrombie an iconic American brand, can stay in the CEO’s office much longer.
It all started in 1898.
David. T. Abercrombie opened Abercrombie & Co. in 1898 and by 1904, Ezra Fitch, one of the store’s biggest customers, became a partner in the Manhattan store. By the time the Great Depression arrived, it was the largest sporting goods store in the country. Unfortunately, things turned sour in the 1960s and it went bankrupt in 1977.
In 1988, The Limited purchased the struggling store and decided it was time to get out of the sporting goods business. Michael Jeffries, who previously led women’s retailer Paul Harris, was hired to lead Abercrombie as CEO 1992. In 1999, the company became independent.
Jeffries figured out sex sells.
Jeffries quickly rebranded A&F to focus on young, hip people. A&F describes itself as a “luxury” brand, but it’s not made to compete with top fashion houses. Rather it’s positioned above Gap in pricing and quality. The target customers are the “popular kids” in high school, according to Jeffries.
And there’s sex. Lots of sex.
In 2003, after a few complaints about various ads sexy, the National Coalition for the Protection of Children & Families, a Christian group, launched a protest of A&F’s “Christmas Field Guide.” They took issue with a cache of images featuring models in various stages of undress, sex acts including “group sex and more” on the cover, and editorials about threesomes, sexual experimentation and masturbation.
The group was specifically upset because A&F’s target audience is under-age.
In 2000, Hollister, a sub-brand, was launched.
Hollister was A&F’s answer to brands like Aéropostal, Wet Seal, and American Eagle’s increased competition. Its target market is younger, around 14-18, with lower prices and more conservative styles than the flagship A&F.
It was a major success for the company. By Q2 2011, Hollister sales in outpaced Abercrombie by a wide margin.