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Shoppers hold bags with clothing purchases on the opening day of operations by retailers Abercrombie & Fitch outside their Paris store on the Champs Elysees in this file photo taken May 19, 2011. Abercrombie & Fitch Co on Friday reported a steeper-than-expected drop in quarterly comparable sales, in part because of inventory shortages, and the teen clothing retailer's shares fell more than 11 percent.
Shoppers hold bags with clothing purchases on the opening day of operations by retailers Abercrombie & Fitch outside their Paris store on the Champs Elysees in this file photo taken May 19, 2011. Abercrombie & Fitch Co on Friday reported a steeper-than-expected drop in quarterly comparable sales, in part because of inventory shortages, and the teen clothing retailer's shares fell more than 11 percent.
(Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

FINANCIAL TIMES

Abercrombie & Fitch takes it on the hip

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

Perhaps Abercrombie & Fitch should try flogging its clothes to all of those fickle teens rather than just the cool ones after all. Exclusivity has long been a key part of the U.S. retailer’s strategy. For years, that helped to sell a lot of ripped jeans and logoed polos, even if it resulted in perennial public relations snags. But lately it is Abercrombie itself that is looking a bit awkward.