Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is a leading specialty clothing retailer. It always utilizes sex appeal to sell its products. A&F often uses semi-nude models with rock hard abs on their new store opening ceremony and puts posters on the wall of store with hot semi-nude Caucasian. A&F prefers to decorate their store with dark jungle feel. All of those strategies aim the same target, the sex attraction.
A feature which can make a huge distinction from other brands is that A&F doesn’t stock XL or XXL sizes for women clothing. It claimed that they want “cool kids”. The reason why they took this strategy is because the company wants to inspire consumers to strive for the Abercrombie & Fitch “lifestyle.” Abercrombie & Fitch sells a “lifestyle” of popularity that people aspire to have (Reichert, 2003). Their advertisements imply that A&F is a fastidious and attractive brand and if you can have their clothing and then you can be the one of them. This characteristic makes the market polarized heavily. In the one hand, this declaration attracts some customers of its target groups indeed.
Because people always want to be considered as “chic” and “fashionable”. So if there is a way can make them feel being cool, they will go for it. And they also want to beat others in anyways. A&F gives the opportunities for those people exactly. The “not cool” people even can’t fit in the clothing of A&F. Also as Jeffries said, those “cool kids” have their “cool” friends, and then A&F can become a new fashion. On the other hand, this overt and cruel design results a consequence of losing profits of excluding customers. They can’t fit in those small sizes so they won’t buy them certainly. The worse thing is that they may hate this brand. Now there are many video on YouTube of blaming A&F’s strategy.
The target markets of A&F’s products are divided in detail. It aims the younger generation in the US generally. The target market falls between those ages because 14 years old is usually when a teenager begins dressing themselves and shopping for themselves, so naturally they want to dress something cool and attractive. They target the groups in two ways. One of them is by the styles of products. Younger people like to wear in casual sports style like hoodies or joggers more than mature adults. They prefer chic style than OL. However it also leads the loss of other people who are excluded in these groups. Because most of the products are designed for youthful people, mature adults may think it’s too young to wear which is not good for expanding market. Unfortunately, mature people have stronger power in purchasing. So A&F lose potential customers in unawareness. The second way is their store style. The decorations with semi-nude posters are offensive to older generations and they even don’t want to walk in the stores.
In conclusion, A&F puts their products in an extreme position. A&F only serves for the spectacular people who are targeted by clothing favor and size. The detailed target makes it easier to get the favor of specific customers. Price:
The price of Abercrombie & Fitch clothing from £10 to £150.Most of the tops are around £30-£60 and the bottoms are £50-£90. The coats and jackets are more expensive (more than £90).
Although it claims that they are providing quality and long lasting clothing, the price is a little bit higher considering their target consumers. Because the young adults usually can’t be independence of finance. However the young people often buy things on their instincts rather than rationality. So the high price may not be an obstacle of purchasing as long as they firmly believe the messages that A&F is trying to imply (having A&F clothing and being attractive and beautiful). Moreover the price represents not only their products but also their brand.
A&F puts itself at a high level of fashion. It makes the consumers strive for it instead of earning them. The high price can be a label of high level and it exactly caters to its attractive style which A&F is always trying to sell. In addition, A&F barely puts their clothing on sale. It’s largely because of their willingness to change everything in order to hang on to a non-price position and a revenue-driven profit formula. (WHY ABERCROMBIE & FITCH (ALMOST) NEVER PUTS ANYTHING ON SALE, BY MICHAEL E. RAYNOR AND MUMTAZ AHMED)
After the economic depression more and more people focus on the price. Unfortunately competitors such as H&M have relied heavily on discounts to gain market share while A&F has struggled with its premium brand position and pricing. The slow adaptation of price promotions has positioned the company behind its competitors. (Strategic Analysis for: Abercrombie & Fitch Co.) People turn to other brands because they can’t accept the high price of A&F.
For Abercrombie & Fitch, how to balance the price and the high level position is one of their problem.
Abercrombie & Fitch has stores in 17 countries in the world including 323 stores. However there are 301 stores in the US and most of other countries only have one or two stores in their capital or booming city. In the USA, A&F build their store along the coast more than in the middle because of the economics. Choosing the main cities to build stores can provide more customers because they pay more attention on dressing than small cities. People who live in big city can also have more purchasing power.
They live in a higher level and care more about the brand. It’s exactly befit the propose of A&F. In addition it’s a good way to show the brand’s attitude by building stores in big cities. It implies A&F is at high level as the big city to the country. A&F came from the US so it’s common to have a lot of stores in the US. In the mean time it also opens new market in Europe and Asia slowly. Because of the culture differences, every country has its own style of dressing so every single store in overseas has to be careful or it may get a financial loss.
With the development of network, A&F established the online shopping system. As other brands, A&F can deliver the items to mostly address. It also has complete return/exchange policies. This channel expands the scale of customers. The limits of regions are most gone which depends on the shipping situation of specific areas. People can sit in their room and buy commodities by internet. This way is more convenient than the traditional way and more suitable for the modern young people.