Retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, a lifestyle brand of America, believe that stores matter and with that comes optimizing the footprint to better fit the needs of our customers today. The customers have changed so dramatically that the retailer is thinking that a change in approach is necessary.
Abercrombie & Fitch Chief Financial Officer Scott Lipesky said, “We are willing to walk away from any mall at this point.”
Lipesky also said, “For us, it’s about getting the right store in the right location at the right size.”
The company began 2019 with 19 flagships around the world and hopes to reduce that number to just 12 by the end of this year as leases expire. They already shut down 500 stores in the last 10 years. They also announced their plan in March to close 60 stores as malls closed without formal announcements.
End of last year Abercrombie & Fitch as well as its sister brand Hollister had 677 stores all over the USA. Now Abercrombie is more interested in e-commerce improvements.
Though Abercrombie is one of the few retailers, which has the will and the ability to invest in its shops, as the brands conduct remodels on dozens of locations across its store network.
As proprietors look to replace shuttered retailers, they are turning toward a mix of restaurants, lifestyle and specialty retail brands to fill the space.
Some 7,600 U.S. stores shuttered in the first nine months of 2019, according to a report from Credit Suisse. That number is anticipated to go up, with more store closures in 2020.