As the current face of preppy America, widely known for its obsession with beautiful people, Abercrombie and Fitch is a long way from its roots as an elite retailer of sporting and excursion goods, aimed at adult shoppers at the time of it’s founding in 1892. Abercrombie and Fitch has experienced significant growth through sell of premium priced apparel and accessories to the 30 and under demographic through its independent brands. An assessment of the company’s strategies, key opportunities and threats as well as industry strategies and competitive dynamics shows a company that is poised to be a long-term leader both in the US and international retailing.
Abercrombie and Fitch, headquartered in New Albany, Ohio, operates internationally throughout North America, Europe and Asia. According to the Abercrombie and Fitch Co. 2011 Form 10-K, “it operated 946 stores in the US and 99 outside the US” (Form 10-K, 2011). The company participates in the specialty apparel retail market and provides value to its customers through its four brands, Abercrombie and Fitch, Abercrombie Kids, Hollister and Gilly Hicks (Form 10-K, 2011). The various brand all include casual sportswear apparel, personal care products and accessories for men, women and kids and bras, underwear and sleepwear for women, with a casual luxury appeal. They are however differentiated by the different age demographics they appeal to, minimizing cannibalization (Standard and Poor’s NetAdvantage).
The retail industry in the United States is considered mature and highly fragmented with demand directly mirroring population growth (Standard and Poor’s NetAdvantage). Abercrombie, like a lot of other companies in this industry, is considered to have reached its growth potential in the United States. To aid further growth, the American based retailer’s number one objective over the passed years has been global expansion. It has aggressively pursued an organic growth strategy internationally. With the recent...
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