Teen fashion retail has been on a roller coaster ride of economic turmoil these past few months and the holiday season hasn’t been any less smooth. Beleaguered Abercrombie which hasn’t had a profitable month in months, and recently reported Q3 profits down 68.3% continues to get hit with brand backlash, including Change.org who launched a campaign against the brand.
Earlier this year, the CEO said their products were for the young, cool, skinny crowd which spread like wildfire across the very target market they were trying to reach. Last week they announced that they would be adding “larger sizes” to their collections for 2014. They will also be adding a wider range of colors and begin selling footwear as part of their merchandising selections.
H&M On a Roll
Meanwhile, H&M continues to do well. The Swedish fast-fashion brand is quickly becoming a favorite among youth culture markets globally and their sustainability programs and designer collaborations have been on target and successful with their growing audience.
They recently announced their financials and total sales increasing 21% for the month of November. Part of this, H&M says, is due to favorable weather which has helped sales.
Their total number of stores is now 3.132, up from 2.776 last year.
True Religion Lay-offs
Just months after being acquired by a private equity firm TowerBrook Capital Partners for $835 million, LA-based True Religion experienced massive lay-offs December 12, 2013 with at least 70 people getting axed. This also happened during the timeframe when chief merchandising officer Lynn Koplin left the company as well.
Angela Furlong, the women’s design director, was laid-off along with Neetu Sehgal, the senior direct of global sourcing, and Erin Reine, the fabric and trim buyer for the past 6 years.
Their latest Chief Executive is David Conn, formerly from VF Corp. where he was president of retail licensed brands. A new creative director was also brought on board, Gary Harvey, back in September.
Apparently, according to employees, the lay-offs were across the board from executives to sewers. Of course it came at a terrible time of the year. Most surprisingly is that employees had no idea it was coming as the brand seemed to be doing well.