After years of struggling to bring in customers and turnaround falling sales, Abercrombie & Fitch shuttered 60 U.S. stores and laid off 150 employees at its headquarters in the first few months of 2017. Now the teen-focused retailer has reportedly put a “for sale” sign on itself.
Reuters, citing people familiar with the situation, reports that Abercrombie is currently working with an investment bank to manage takeover advances from other retailers.
While the sources note that its possible Ohio-based Abercrombie won’t receive any offers, Perella Weinberg Partners is on hand to field any possible interest.
It’s unclear if any future sale would cover all of Abercrombie & Fitch’s assets, which also include the Hollister and Abercrombie Kids brands. Consumerist has reached out to Abercrombie for more information, we’ll update this post if we hear back.
Abercrombie, which operates nearly 900 A&F stores around the world, has been trying to turnaround lost interest from its key demographic — teens — in recent years.
Back in 2015, the chain began a campaign to toward wholesomeness: doing away with hard-bodied hunks in its ads, ditching “cool” executives who’d rather not deal with any uncool customers, and retiring its “appearance and sense of style” hiring rules.
In August, Abercrombie announced a new campaign that would instead focus on shoppers’ feelings about themselves on the inside, not on the outside. And from the sound of things, shoppers are feeling like they don’t want to go to Abercrombie & Fitch.
Despite these efforts, shoppers still weren’t drawn in by the company’s logo-heavy sweatshirts, khaki cargo shorts, or pre-ripped jeans. The chain recently reported its fourth straight quarter of falling-same store sales, with a sales decline of 5%.
These challenges most recently resulted in the closure of 60 stores — a year after it closed 53 others — and the lay off of 150 employees at its headquarters.