Every once in awhile I get a brain cramp. For instance, when I initially saw this story about clothing retailer Abercrombie and Fitch closing 180 stores, I was thinking I had already done a previous post on the company. Then, thanks to a little reminder note from regular reader ReddDogg, dang if didn't go back to double check only to find that my middle age Alzheimer's has been sneaking up on me.
Anyway, without further ado, here is the scoop from The Columbus Dispatch:
Abercrombie & Fitch plans to close 180 stores in the United States over the next three years as part of a strategy to focus on higher-tier markets, both domestically and overseas, said Jonathan Ramsden, chief financial officer at Abercrombie.Thus Abercrombie joins a growing list of retailers, including Sears, JC Penney, The Gap, Espirit and Pacific Sunwear which have announced major store closings recently.
When finished, Abercrombie will have closed more than 300 stores, which includes the 135 stores that were closed the past two years.
While the company has not announced specific stores that will be shuttered, Ramsden said they have tended to close more abercrombie kids and Abercrombie & Fitch stores than Hollister stores. The closings will be based on store performance.
In past calls with analysts, Abercrombie officials have indicated that such closings benefit the company by reinforcing its exclusive image.
So was their some Corporate FlackSpeak to go with this article? You bet your sullen little mallrat's hoodie pullover there was:
“By closing more of these lower-tier, underperforming stores, we'll be able to lift up the entire brand, particularly A&F,” Ramsden said.Yep--nothing 'lifts up an entire brand" quite like a bunch of empty storefronts. And I know I didn't go to business school and I'm just a loser with a Poly Sci degree rather than a fancy MBA, but even I know that opening new stores on a continent currently spiraling into a deep recession is a really bad fucking idea.
Almost all of the closings will be in the United States. The chain plans to continue to open “ highly profitable stores in Europe beyond that, in Asia and other new markets,” said CEO Mike Jeffries.
Bonus: "Your little hoodrat friend has been calling me again"