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Abercrombie hopes that sexifying their stores will ramp up sales

(BUSINESS NEWS) Abercrombie is surviving the retail cull but in attempt to thrive in it, they are revamping their marketing.

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Abercrombie and Fire

While other retailers have succumbed to incredible growth of online shopping, one store seems to be finding it’s footing, and it’s not one that you would expect.

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Abercrombie & Fitch reported only a 1% loss in sales during the last quarter. Upon hearing the news, shares increased by 17% last week.

Hollister helper

The surprisingly stable numbers are largely attributed to their California surfer-centric Hollister chain, which reported a 5% increase in sales.

Though most retailers are closing down stores at a faster rate than ever, Abercrombie has managed to compete with other popular clothing stores, like H&M along with the fiercest competitor of all, Amazon.

Going a new direction

Abercrombie decided to redefine their brand at the beginning of this year with the launch of a new store prototype. Gone are the shirtless man greeters, perfume clouds and awkwardly loud house music.

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They want to make a more approachable atmosphere, which if you’ve ever even walked past an Abercrombie, seems the polar opposite of their earlier strategy.

To combat the convenience of online shopping, they decided to focus on what they can offer that a website cannot. The new store prototypes focus on improving the customer experience inside the store instead of simply boosting what they offer online.

One of the major changes they introduced is the “Fitting Room Suite.” They are going back to retail basics by offering a larger suite of fitting rooms where customers can privately try on clothes at the same time. The individual rooms will be divided and can be customized to create a comfortable atmosphere. Customers have control over the lights and sound and can even charge their phones.

Abercrombie is also stepping up their game when it comes to their employees. To turn their once intimidating stores into approachable atmospheres, they are expanding their training programs.

Not out of the woods yet

A prototype store is open in Ohio, with plans to have six more in the U.S. by the end of the year. Even with all of the changes, Abercrombie still faces an uphill battle, as do all retailers.

They have yet to define their brand. Without all their signature features, what makes Abercrombie any different from H&M?

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#Abercrombie

Written By

Natalie is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and co-founded an Austin creative magazine called Almost Real Things. When she is not writing, she spends her time making art, teaching painting classes and confusing people. In addition to pursuing a writing career, Natalie plans on getting her MFA to become a Professor of Fine Art.

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