Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has eliminated its brand president positions, naming Kristin Scott president, global brands.
In the change, Scott was elevated from her previous post as brand president of Hollister Co. Stacia Andersen, who was brand president of Abercrombie and Abercrombie Kids, will be leaving the company. Abercrombie said the restructuring will combine the leadership of planning and inventory management into a cross-brand role, with the person reporting to Scott. Scott in turn reports to Fran Horowitz, the retailer’s chief executive officer. Core customer-facing functions, including marketing and product development, are part of the branded structures and are under Scott’s domain.
Scott, 51, joined the company in 2016 as brand president of Hollister. She has held senior merchandising positions at Victoria’s Secret, Gap Outlet and Target Corp. Under her leadership, with a focus on a customer-centric approach, Hollister has had eight consecutive quarters of positive comparable sales for the brand.
Horowitz said, “With strong foundations in place across brands, our playbooks working, and a solid start to the holiday season, these organizational changes are part of the continuing transformation of our business to support our longer-term global growth ambitions.”
Execution on those playbooks helped the company best Wall Street’s estimates for the quarter for both earnings per share and sales.
The company said net income for the quarter ended Nov. 3 more than doubled to $23.9 million, or 35 cents a diluted share, from net income of $10.1 million, or 15 cents, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, EPS was 33 cents. Net sales inched up 0.2 percent to $861.2 million from $859.2 million. Comparable sales growth rose 3 percent on top of last year’s 4 percent gain. Direct-to-consumer net sales rose 16 percent in the quarter to $243.6 million, representing 28 percent of total net sales for the quarter.
Wall Street was expecting diluted EPS of 20 cents on sales of $853 million.
Horowitz said the company had a solid start to the holiday season.
A closer look at the sales breakdown shows that Hollister sales rose 1 percent, while comps were up 4 percent. The Abercrombie brand, which lagged Hollister on the timing of when it began its turnaround efforts, saw a 1 percent decline in sales as comps rose 1 percent.
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, the company expects sales to be down in the mid-single-digit range, due in part to the calendar shift which had an extra week in 2017. Comps were guided to up low-single digits. Fiscal year 2018 sales were forecast to be up 2 to 4 percent from last year, with comps up in the same range.
Investors were upbeat about the forecasts, sending shares of Abercrombie up 22.2 percent to $20.92 in early-morning trading.