The BrandA&F is an American retailer that produces and sells „highstandard‟ casual wear. Abercrombie & Fitch has over 300locations in the US and is expanding internationally.The company also owns three sister brands in the form of:Abercrombie (children‟s wear), Hollister Co. and Gilly Hicks.The company also operated Ruehl No.925, this closed in2010.
The brands history.There have been three retailers called Abercrombie & Fitchand the current A&F shares only its name with the originalbusiness. It was founded in 1892 in the Manhattan boroughof New York City, New York, by David T. Abercrombie andEzra H. Fitch.A&F was originally an elite outfitter of sporting and excursiongoods, particularly noted for its expensive shotguns, fishingrods and tents. In 1976, Abercrombie & Fitch filed forbankruptcy, finally closing its flagship Manhattan store in1977.The name was revived shortly after, when in 1978-79, Oshman‟s Sporting Goods, a Houston-basedchain, bought the firm‟s name and mailing list.
Oshman‟s re-launched A&F as a mail-order retailerspecialising in hunting wear and novelty items. Later openingshops in Beverly Hills, Dallas Texas and then New York City.Finally, in 1988, Oshman‟s sold the company name andoperations to „The Limited‟, a clothing-chain operator basedin Columbus, Ohio.The current A&F sells mostly clothes instead of helmets andguns, and describes its retailing niche as an aspirational“Casual Luxury” lifestyle brand.The company has been accused of promoting thesexualisation of pre-teen girls by making thongs for 10 year-olds and padded bras for 7-year-olds.
Brand ValuesAbercrombie & Fitch is a brand that expects just as much from itscustomers as it offers them in quality clothing.By this statement I mean that the brand has this idea of perfectclothing for perfect people and this is the image they have conjured uparound the brand through advertising with sex appeal.- Seeking of perfection - Aspiration - Vanity - Achievement - Beauty - Physicality - Sexuality - Casual Luxury - Belonging - Exclusivity - The Dark rooms – suggestive.• Are the Dark corners suggesting promiscuity?
Product Life Cycle As a brand I would say that Abercrombie & Fitch are at the Maturity stage on the product life cycle. They have had their falls and even once hit bankruptcy. However, they are now at a steady success rate and are becoming more and more well-known worldwide.
Target AudienceIn a brief summary Abercrombie & Fitch is aimed at both gendersbetween the ages of 18 to 22.However there is more behind it than just age and gender. It is allabout the image of perfection and the self vanity of consumers.A&F is seen as an exclusive brand, only allowed to be worn by thoseseen worthy. When visiting a store or looking at their advertisementsthe image sent across is that of beauty and sexual attraction. Unlessyou are seen to be beautiful you are not considered worthy of thebrand.They also only hire those they see to be „beautiful‟ to work in theirstores or advertise the brands clothing. Because they do not wantpeople to think it can be worn by just anyone.It is all about exclusivity and the seeking of perfection.
Marketing & PRAs a brand Abercrombie & Fitch‟s main form of advertisingis probably seen sex appeal. The half naked men on theirbags and outside their stores is what sells people thestore. MEN – can look this way.WOMEN – want their men to look this way.Having their good looking staff standing on the streets andinteracting with their customers helps make theircustomers feel involved and swayed towards buying intothe brand.
Place & DistributionAbercrombie & Fitch is an American based company buthave recently expanded worldwide.They have stores located in major cities such as Londonas well as having their sister brads more locally. Forexample Hollister stores in Southampton and MiltonKeynes.You can also purchase their merchandise and clothingonline on the Abercrombie & Fitch website.
Looking at the brand as a whole I would say they are attheir highest point. In that they have launched sisterbrands and expanded worldwide. The fact you can nowpurchase their merchandise online also makes it moreaccessible.Due to their high prices however it may decrease theirsales figures as people can go to places such as Hollisteror Super Dry and get similar clothing for a cheaper price.These sister brands and similar clothing brands can beseen as a threat to the brand as they may steal thelimelight and customers.