Another youth-focused retailer is showing signs of trouble, the apparent result of teens no longer shopping at malls. Abercrombie & Fitch laid off 150 employees at its New Albany, OH, headquarters this week.
The laid-off staffers represent about 7% of all A&F corporate employees.
“As part of our ongoing cost reduction initiatives and after careful consideration, the company has eliminated approximately 150 positions at the corporate levels to ensure we are structured appropriately for the current retail environment,” the company said in a statement sent to the Dayton Daily News.
That “current retail environment” is one in which clothing retailers that target teens and young adults are filing for bankruptcy and closing down, including the second bankruptcy of American Apparel and the shutdown of Wet Seal since the beginning of 2017 alone. Pacific Sun and Aeropostale also filed for bankruptcy, with PacSun re-structuring while keeping its stores open, and Aeropostale re-opening stores under new ownership.
Abercrombie & Fitch, which also owns the clothing brand Hollister, has struggled to find a place in current teens’ closets, especially after some of the chain’s practices became public, including appearance-based hiring, strict limits on their hairstyles, and the absence of any clothing in the color black or items in sizes larger than 10 for women. The company ousted the visionary but eccentric CEO who created the modern Abercrombie, but still hasn’t found its way. Even if its male models have found their shirts.
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