abercrombie fitch layoffs


Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is trimming back staff at its New Albany, Ohio, headquarters, seeking the right balance for an increasingly tough consumer landscape.

“As part of our ongoing cost reduction initiatives and after careful consideration, the company has eliminated approximately 150 positions at the corporate level to ensure we are structured appropriately for the current retail environment,” a company spokeswoman told WWD. “We appreciate the contributions these associates have made while with Abercrombie & Fitch and we will make certain that they are treated fairly and with respect through this process.”

Over the first nine months of the fiscal year just about to end, the company logged net losses of $44.8 million on sales of $2.29 billion, a top line decline of 4.8 percent.

Headquarters isn’t the only place where Abercrombie sees potential cost savings.

Asked about the “opportunity to pull back on fixed costs” during a conference call with Wall Street in November, Joanne Crevoiserat, chief financial officer, said the company was looking to offset investments the company’s made in its e-commerce business and in marketing, which isn’t as hot and heavy as it once was.

“We have been successful over time in pulling back on costs,” Crevoiserat said. “One of the biggest levers we can pull going forward is in the productivity of our store fleet. We’ve been aggressive at closing unproductive stores and announced this quarter, more actions that we’re taking to drive productivity in our brick-and-mortar fleet, including addressing underperforming flagship stores, as well as renegotiating lease terms as we — as evident in the Tokyo A&F flagship stores.

“We continue to focus on pulling back on costs,” she said. “I think there are continued opportunities across the business, and a strong focus on optimizing our store fleet and driving more productivity through brick-and-mortar stores.”

That puts Abercrombie in line with most of the rest of the retail world, which is closing stores and looking for a path forward through a new consumer landscape.

Shares of the firm fell 2.7 percent to $11.71 Thursday, leaving it with a market capitalization of $792 million.

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