Teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch continues with their new plans at streamlining strategies and getting back to a core brand focus by announcing the closure of their Gilly Hicks stores by Q1 of 2014. Gilly Hicks as a brand however, will be relocated online and in their Hollister stores.
At the announcement on November 6, 2013, Abercrombie shares fell 8%. Gilly Hicks had 20 stores in the US and 8 abroad. In Q3, Abercrombie’s sales fell to $1.03 billion from $1.17 billion in 2012. Comparable store sales dropped 14%.
“We have decided to focus the future development of the Gilly Hicks brand through Hollister stores and direct-to-consumer channels,” said Mike Jeffries, CEO and chairman, in a statement.
“We believe it is critical to focus our efforts and resources where we have the greatest opportunities to drive profitable growth for our brands,” Jeffries said.
Unfortunately for Abercrombie, the announcement of the Gilly Hicks closures came a day before Abercrombie was meeting with analysts regarding long-term strategy growth.
The Gilly Hick’s brand was intended to be the lounge-wear concept for Abercrombie & Fitch, similar to Victoria’s Secret, but failed to gain much traction as stand-alone stores. Ruehl, their upscale chain store for older customers, also came to a sad demise when Abercrombie decided to shutter it in 2010.