🠈  Abercrombie & Fitch  🠊

Abercrombie and Fitch

Abercrombie and Fitch is a specialty retailer providing designer clothes targetting young adults in High School and College. The site Abercrombie Kids provides clothes for kids and teens. The company also operates Hollister Company stores.

Abercrombie and Fitch was founded in 1892. The early stores gained note as an outfitter for Teddy Roosevelt, Ernest Hemmingway and other rich businessmen seeking adventure. In 1988, Abercrombie and Fitch was purchased by The Limited which changed the store's focus to wealthy kids in suburban high schools. Abercrombie and Fitch became an independent store, once again, in 1998.

The new Abercrombie and Fitch has developed a reputation for pushing the edges of marketing. Each element of the store is designed with the goal of creating a young, sexy feel. The web site uses full screen and interviews with half clothed models to define a young, somewhat promiscuous sensation. Conservative Groups feel that many of the stores older catalogs crossed the border from edgy and sexy into the world of pornography. CNN reports that the 2003 catalog (distributed to minors) included nude models in provocative poses with articles on sex. The store's single minded focus on its popular sexy image seems to have brought ire from left as well in the form of a 2005 class action suit for discrimination (AF Justice).

Fortunately, the new catalogs seem to have toned down their image. Likewise Abercrombie and Fitch has included diversity programs into their corporate culture.

As of April 1, 2006, Abercrombie and Fitch operated 850 stores in 49 states. The company's headquarters are located in New Albany, Ohio. They trade on the NYSE with the symbol ANF. Hoovers reports that A&F has over 76,000 employees and $2.7 billion in sales. Apparently the provocative catalogs worked ... sex sells.

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