Abercrombie & Fitch has made a comeback.
It’s official – Abercrombie & Fitch is cool again. The brand has seen a surge in its stock price and consumer interest in the past few years. After being one of the most hated brands in America, A&F is now tapping into what millennials and Gen Z want. See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Abercrombie & Fitch is cool again.
Yes, the same brand that former CEO Mike Jeffries once described being geared toward high school’s “cool kids” who weren’t “overweight or unattractive.” It featured dimly lit mall stores that emanated cologne and welcomed shoppers with shirtless male greeters. But the exclusive lifestyle Abercrombie sold wore thin, and what was once a teen status symbol became America’s most hated retailer in 2016.
The stock of Abercrombie’s parent company, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF), began falling in the early to mid-2010s and dropped below $10 per share four years ago, its lowest point since May 2000. Meanwhile, the company struggled to find a buyer.
Jeffries’ standard of beauty for the brand wasn’t resonating, and neither was he. “Companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny,” he once told Salon. “But then you become totally vanilla.”
The brand was once a teen status symbol.
He stepped down in 2014, and current CEO Fran Horowitz joined three years later. Roughly a year after, ANF’s stock started to climb, and it’s soared 266% over the past year alone. The underlying reason is simple: the brand became cool again. And it doesn’t look like the Abercrombie of yore.
Ditching the privilege and the prep for a more down-to-earth look and refined basics, Abercrombie has emerged a more wholesome and on-trend brand targeted to those entering adulthood, a reflection of the increasing spending power and changing consumer behavior of millennials and Gen Z.
More diverse, authentic, and on-trend
Along with A&F’s shirtless models and stark black-and-white