A&F Case Study

A&F Case Study - Matthew Gittleman A&F Case Study...

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Matthew Gittleman BOS341 February 2009 Executive Summary Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) has had a long, interesting history. Through a variety of managerial decisions the retailer has managed to be successful and remain successful since its inception in 1892. It has, although, encountered some obstacles, not all of which, were handled in the most efficient and profitable manner causing the company to have to declare bankruptcy in 1976 and fold until 1978 when it was purchased by Oshman’s Sporting Goods, Inc. The company has done a good job establishing its brand image among different demographics through its four brands; A&F, Abercrombie, Hollister Company and Ruehl. It has not however reached the level of retail store competitor Gap Inc., which has had more than double the net income of A&F since 2002. To reach Gap Inc.’s level the company will have to make some changes first and foremost within their management. CEO Michael Jeffries has done a phenomenal job with the resources he has had. He must however be able to keep his staff for longer periods of time. Having to always be looking for new chief operating officers and chief financial officers to fill positions of people who have left for better jobs has been a great detriment to the company. Addressing this issue will allow the retailer to begin to focus more on its future and less on its present as it won’t have to constantly be revised with the addition and loss of high executives. This case is especially important now because of CEO Michael 1
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Jeffries. He has brought a new energy to the company which if harnessed correctly has Internal Strengths A&F’s biggest internal strength is the image it has created. From the log cabin and casting pool atop the early 1900’s Madison Avenue and 45 th Street building to “the playing of loud dance music and the spraying of men’s cologne” (Rovenpor, 413) in the dimly lit stores of the 2000’s. It has always been at the cutting edge of society’s trends. A&F has continually tried to be the most exciting brand. Although the products have changed the image that A&F exudes has always been exactly what its target customers are looking for. They have managed to preserve this brand image even through rough times which is a tribute to the brand’s staying power. The brand image of the retailer reflects what the company believes to be the prototypical American teenager, and the ideal of what American teenagers should aspire to be; “We just believe that it is our job to position Abercrombie and Fitch as the coolest brand, the brand with the greatest quality, the aspirational brand of college students” says Tom Lennox, A&F’s director of corporate communications and investor relations (411). This mantra is obviously fully indoctrinated into company values and beliefs. For better or for worse, A&F has gone so far as to only hire people to work in their stores that they believe best fit the prototype
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A&F Case Study - Matthew Gittleman A&F Case Study...

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