Abercrombie & Fitch decides to lose the logo
The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. reported weak sales this week. More teens are shopping elsewhere.
The company is trying to stock trendier clothing and that means stripping off the once-prized Abercrombie logo.
It is a major change for the retailer, whose sweatshirts and T-shirts emblazoned with its name long have been popular with teenagers. Now, individuality is the name of the game.
"Personal style, specifically with teens, is becoming less about fitting in and more about standing out," said Lauren Wolfenden, a senior advisory analyst at WGSN, a fashion trend consultancy. "A&F has wised up to this by phasing out the cookie-cutter logo-ed product look and bringing in trendy pieces that can be worn in a multitude of different ways."
A&F and other traditional teen stores have to adapt. They face a battle to turn their businesses around as mall traffic drops and shoppers' tastes change.
Parents and teens are starting to think twice about splurging on clothes. Abercrombie has lost business to "fast fashion" chains like H&M. It's known for quickly churning out trendy $9 tops.
Teens are also spending less time at the mall and more time researching and buying on mobile devices. And when they do buy, they're more likely buying the latest gadget than filling their closets.
Last week, Aeropostale predicted sales would not improve much the rest of the year.
A&F has been shortening the time from developing a design to shipping the clothing to the stores. It's also changing its color palette.
WGSN's Wolfenden said Abercrombie announced earlier this year that it would start using black in their collections, something it had never done before. She praised some of the current fashions in the stores. They include Aztec printed silky pants, sleek maxi-dresses and slouchy T-shirts with scenic images and French sayings.
But the big change, of course, is clothes that don't shout the Abercrombie name. For the fall shopping season, A&F has reduced its logoed merchandise by half.
Critical thinking challenge: What does Abercrombie hope to gain by losing the logo?