Amidst declining sales, Abercrombie & Fitch has decided to undergo a revamp stripping its iconic logo off its products. This is a major step for the retailer which is known for its brand splashed right across its products.
In a recent financial press statement, Mike Jeffries, chief executive officer of A&F has said that in the past quarter despite the “great progress” made in evolving the fashion component of the company’s assortment the fashion environment has been challenging.
“In a continued challenging environment, our sales for the second quarter were somewhat below plan, but we have seen modest improvement since the Back-to-School floorset.”
“ We are confident that the evolution of our assortment will drive further improvements going forward, in particular as we move past the headwind of adverse likes in our logo business as we work to strategically reduce that element in our assortment.”
Simon Bell, executive director strategy, Southeast Asia & Pacific at Landor was quick to note that the fashion segment today is a tough market where consumer mindsets adapt and changes quickly. Diversity is necessary for survival of brands as traditional lines are blurring.
Bell added that today, sporting giants such as Nike and Adidas have moved progressively further into lifestyle clothing and away from their traditional ‘pure sport’ lines resulting in revenue growth and stature. This has in turn resulted in the likes of Uniqlo and H&M pushing into sport clothing and sponsoring elite athletes to diversify product lines and gain profile.
This criss-crossing of lines could hence potentially be an issue for brands like Abercrombie & Fitch.
“Perhaps the brand would be better placed challenging the category – something it has never been shy of previously. So whilst dropping the logo is unlikely to cure any of the woes A&F currently finds itself in, it will generate interest,” Bell said.
“This could be a case of the brand setting to announce something new and make use of being in the spotlight.”
Meanwhile, Katie Ewer is strategy director at design firm JKR Global in Singapore added that adopting a subtler approach can only be a good thing. She added that in fashion, brands that saturate their lines with a single stylistic trick are doomed to become boring.
“It happened to Burberry in Europe with their ubiquitous check pattern – the motif became so popular it was by definition no longer desirable,” Ewer said.
“Abercrombie & Fitch had become a big logo on a collection of overpriced clothes. The challenge now is to become a credible competitive fashion brand and be more inventive with its branding and relevant with its styles.”