Main | Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Abercrombie CEO Steps Down

Controversial openly gay Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael Jeffries stepped down yesterday after more than 20 years of helming the iconic brand. Via the Washington Post:
Jeffries, 70, has led the company since 1992 and built Abercrombie into an icon of the teen fashion industry. Yet he came under fire last year for comments that resurfaced about how "a lot of people don't belong" in its sexed-up, all-American clothing. He also has been under scrutiny for the company's recent financial struggles, as the brand further loses its luster among young adults. While the company did not detail the circumstances of his departure, Jeffries said in a statement that he thinks "now is the right time for new leadership to take the company forward in the next phase of its development." Abercrombie has also been adjusting the look and feel of its retail — lightening up its nightclub-dark stores, ditching the prominent logos on its clothing and redoing the fronts of its Hollister shops. Neil Stern, a senior partner with retail consultancy McMillanDoolittle, says that while Abercrombie was slow to respond to teens' changing tastes, it has been working to catch up by expanding its outlet stores, focusing on international growth and shifting the Hollister brand to more closely mimic fast-fashion retailers like H&M and Forever 21.
If you've never read the 2006 profile of Jeffries by Salon, it's an eye-opener.

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