Abercrombie & Fitch Sales Up Slightly Even If Customers Are Dissatisfied

Apparently, it doesn’t matter how dissatisfied your customers are as long as you have the coolest clothes. While Abercrombie & Fitch may have the lowest score out of all retailers on the most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index, the chain’s same-store sales were still up slightly over the same period last quarter. Maybe it pays to have your models put their clothes back on.

Keep in mind that the tiny improvement of 1% comes during a quarter when clothing stores and department stores that depend on clothing sales didn’t do so great as a whole. The whole industry claiming that they lost hundreds of millions of dollars of business because the weather in much of the country has been so mild for most of this winter that shoppers simply didn’t bother to buy new winter coats, which is apparently when we also buy other warm-weather clothing.

Maybe that was Abercrombie’s secret: their sales increase was in the Hollister brand, which is marketed with a “surfing” theme and probably less dependent on parka and sweater sales than its corporate cousins. The company as a whole also changed its marketing, turning the lights up and the music down, perhaps improving its appeal to the parents who actually hold families’ credit cards.

Abercrombie & Fitch posts surprise rise in same-store sales [Reuters]