Arrogance on the part of management took this week’s stock from retail darling to the bargain basement. Now a new team is restoring its fortunes – but the market doesn’t seem to have noticed.
Abercrombie & Fitch, the American-listed clothing chain, was until a few years ago one of the most admired retailers around. Its distinctive shops, “more like nightclubs” in the words of one investor, attracted its youthful target audience in droves and it was able to make excellent margins.
But when its managers started to revel in its aura of exclusivity the tide turned: a backlash, aided by social media, ensued and the brand went from being one of the most admired to one of the least.