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Abercrombie & Fitch: What Happened?

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  • LesserBlackDog
    replied
    In fairness to A&F and in spite of my general dislike of the brand, they do make decent stuff these days.

    Recently I had been looking for a long hooded parka to wear over a suit jacket (my Canada Goose is bomber length). I had mostly settled on the Lands’ End version, which came out to about $150 with one of the recent 50% discounts. Then I stumbled on this from A&F, ordered it to try out, and for $140 on sale it turns out to be a nicer jacket than the LE in my opinion. Plus it comes in orange which is my favorite “go to hell” menswear color. (Yes I bought an orange parka to wear over suits. I do what I want when it’s -20 degrees.)

    The material has a much nicer feel than the LE version, the fit is much slimmer while still being roomy enough for plenty of layers underneath, and the overall design seems cleaner and sleeker to me. Plus no visible exterior branding since I can tuck the pocket flaps into the pockets...

    Leave a comment:


  • Hebrew Barrister
    replied
    Originally posted by azimmerm View Post
    Side topic: This always gets to me, for some reason. Generations are 20 year periods but people born in 1980 are NOTHING like those born in 1999. Just like those born in 1960 are a far cry different than those born in 1979. For example, I was born in 1987 so I am considered a "millennial" but the vast majority of things associated with millenials is not applicable to myself nor anyone around my age: we don't use "fam," we didn't grow up with tablets or smart phones, we had dial up internet, we watched Saturday morning cartoons, we rolled up our windows etc. The millenials that were born in the late 90s seem to be what people associate with ALL millenials which is completely false. We really should have 10 years for "generations" instead of 20, 20 is just far too long of a time. Myself, being 30, has far more in common with someone in their mid to late 40s than someone in their early 20s and the same is true for most people I know that are my age.

    Sorry, just wanted to rant about the millenial designation a bit.
    I'm 39 and can agree with you for the most part. Fortunately I'm old enough to never have been called a millennial.

    Leave a comment:


  • ryn
    replied
    Originally posted by azimmerm View Post
    Side topic: This always gets to me, for some reason. Generations are 20 year periods but people born in 1980 are NOTHING like those born in 1999. Just like those born in 1960 are a far cry different than those born in 1979. For example, I was born in 1987 so I am considered a "millennial" but the vast majority of things associated with millenials is not applicable to myself nor anyone around my age: we don't use "fam," we didn't grow up with tablets or smart phones, we had dial up internet, we watched Saturday morning cartoons, we rolled up our windows etc. The millenials that were born in the late 90s seem to be what people associate with ALL millenials which is completely false. We really should have 10 years for "generations" instead of 20, 20 is just far too long of a time. Myself, being 30, has far more in common with someone in their mid to late 40s than someone in their early 20s and the same is true for most people I know that are my age.

    Sorry, just wanted to rant about the millenial designation a bit.
    I forget what exactly the term was, but some experts distinguish between late and early millennials, noting the differences you have mentioned.

    I think that the media's popular conception of millennials is not that they are clueless 20 year old but trendy city dwelling members of the creative class. That is basically what the media under 40 is.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alpha King
    replied
    Wow. I totally missed all this stuff about AF. I just thought they had a bad rep from frat bros wearing their stuff in the early 2000's.

    Leave a comment:


  • hornsup84
    replied
    Originally posted by dpark View Post
    The oldest millennials are 14 years older than Under Armour. Can we please stop using the world "millennial" as if it means "clueless 21-year old"?



    Then you're not looking. Uber lost $2.8 Billion in 2016. They just fired their CEO after repeated scandals. 400,000 customers actually deleted their accounts and while their business is still growing, it's now growing slower than Lyft in large part because of their tarnished brand.



    Disappointing in that growth was lower than expected. They still grew by most measures and earned over $4 Billion during their last fiscal year. Starbucks seems to be doing pretty well still.
    Truth above.

    And just because a brand positions itself as a luxury good =/= they have a "culture of exclusion and disdain". That's also missing the point of why many of the folks above dislike A&F. Whether something is exclusionary in terms of pricing is always a relative discussion, and most brands generally advertise that their stuff is quality or otherwise exemplary.

    Leave a comment:


  • paintflinger
    replied
    Originally posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
    Ell oh ell. A 15 year old marketing campaign? No. We’re talking about the culture of the brand. A culture of exclusion and disdain that was very deliberately cultivated by CEO Mike Jeffries for two decades until he “retired” just a few years ago. He only left the company in 2014.

    A brand is more than just the stuff it sells. A brand is also the reputation it has cultivated and the relationships it has created with customers... and potential customers. Abercrombie spent decades creating the reputation it now “enjoys.” It spent decades literally telling certain potential customers that their business was neither wanted nor needed, because they weren’t cool enough or thin enough or sexy enough or rich enough. No one is required to ignore that reputation or that relationship and let Abercrombie wipe the slate clean. It will take a lot longer than that for Abercrombie to shake off the reputation and relationships it worked so long and so hard to earn...
    It was very strange reading that article.

    Leave a comment:


  • azimmerm
    replied
    Originally posted by dpark View Post
    The oldest millennials are 14 years older than Under Armour. Can we please stop using the world "millennial" as if it means "clueless 21-year old"?
    Side topic: This always gets to me, for some reason. Generations are 20 year periods but people born in 1980 are NOTHING like those born in 1999. Just like those born in 1960 are a far cry different than those born in 1979. For example, I was born in 1987 so I am considered a "millennial" but the vast majority of things associated with millenials is not applicable to myself nor anyone around my age: we don't use "fam," we didn't grow up with tablets or smart phones, we had dial up internet, we watched Saturday morning cartoons, we rolled up our windows etc. The millenials that were born in the late 90s seem to be what people associate with ALL millenials which is completely false. We really should have 10 years for "generations" instead of 20, 20 is just far too long of a time. Myself, being 30, has far more in common with someone in their mid to late 40s than someone in their early 20s and the same is true for most people I know that are my age.

    Sorry, just wanted to rant about the millenial designation a bit.

    Leave a comment:


  • dpark
    replied
    Originally posted by Greyone View Post
    The millennials today see Underarmor as old and not trendy enough.
    The oldest millennials are 14 years older than Under Armour. Can we please stop using the world "millennial" as if it means "clueless 21-year old"?

    Originally posted by Greyone View Post
    If you're talking about the culture of the brand then look no further than Uber. I don't see them struggling much.
    Then you're not looking. Uber lost $2.8 Billion in 2016. They just fired their CEO after repeated scandals. 400,000 customers actually deleted their accounts and while their business is still growing, it's now growing slower than Lyft in large part because of their tarnished brand.

    Originally posted by Greyone View Post
    On the other hand, Starbucks as a textbook citizen has seen some disappointing results especially in the US.
    Disappointing in that growth was lower than expected. They still grew by most measures and earned over $4 Billion during their last fiscal year. Starbucks seems to be doing pretty well still.

    Leave a comment:


  • DC1873
    replied
    Originally posted by Greyone View Post
    One can say the same thing about Rolex, BMW, LV and many other high end brands.

    The truth is it's all about the brand image, popularity and the right marketing approach. Customers have very short memory indeed. What worked in late 2000's is outdated now. The millennials today see Underarmor as old and not trendy enough. Nike is having some serious marketing issues as well while Adidas came back to life. JCrew has had their share of marketing ups and downs. GAP has reinvented itself and all of a sudden is in.

    If you're talking about the culture of the brand then look no further than Uber. I don't see them struggling much. On the other hand, Starbucks as a textbook citizen has seen some disappointing results especially in the US.
    I don't know if I would say Rolex and BMW "deliberately create a culture of exclusion and disdain." If that is your opinion of those brands, fine. But that's not the same at all as A&F. They were sued multiple times in federal court over their hiring practices (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzal...ch_Stores,_Inc. & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_...6_Fitch_Stores)

    Leave a comment:


  • Greyone
    replied
    Originally posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
    Ell oh ell. A 15 year old marketing campaign? No. We’re talking about the culture of the brand. A culture of exclusion and disdain that was very deliberately cultivated by CEO Mike Jeffries for two decades until he “retired” just a few years ago. He only left the company in 2014.
    One can say the same thing about Rolex, BMW, LV and many other high end brands.

    The truth is it's all about the brand image, popularity and the right marketing approach. Customers have very short memory indeed. What worked in late 2000's is outdated now. The millennials today see Underarmor as old and not trendy enough. Nike is having some serious marketing issues as well while Adidas came back to life. JCrew has had their share of marketing ups and downs. GAP has reinvented itself and all of a sudden is in.

    If you're talking about the culture of the brand then look no further than Uber. I don't see them struggling much. On the other hand, Starbucks as a textbook citizen has seen some disappointing results especially in the US.

    Leave a comment:


  • JT10000
    replied
    Originally posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
    Ell oh ell. A 15 year old marketing campaign? No. We’re talking about the culture of the brand. A culture of exclusion and disdain that was very deliberately cultivated by CEO Mike Jeffries for two decades until he “retired” just a few years ago. He only left the company in 2014.

    A brand is more than just the stuff it sells. A brand is also the reputation it has cultivated and the relationships it has created with customers... and potential customers. Abercrombie spent decades creating the reputation it now “enjoys.” It spent decades literally telling certain potential customers that their business was neither wanted nor needed, because they weren’t cool enough or thin enough or sexy enough or rich enough. No one is required to ignore that reputation or that relationship and let Abercrombie wipe the slate clean. It will take a lot longer than that for Abercrombie to shake off the reputation and relationships it worked so long and so hard to earn...
    Well said.

    Leave a comment:


  • believe0101
    replied
    Originally posted by connersw View Post
    I'm not putting myself on any level. Everyone is free to purchase whatever they want from wherever they want. If you choose to not purchase from a place based on personal/political views, then that is for you to decide.

    I just find it laughable when self proclaimed members of the all inclusive crowd make disparaging remarks about a brand or the people that wear it based on the stereotype of a 15-year old marketing campaign.

    I hope you can see the irony of "I'm too cool to shop there because it's a cool guy/bro store" vs "I'm cooler than everyone else because I wear this cool guy bro-brand."

    My point was they are just clothes, and A&F has been making some good ones for a while now at better than average prices.
    Nothing is ever "just clothes" to some people just as nothing is ever "just food" to others.

    More fun reading about A&F and their former leadership. No thanks.

    Leave a comment:


  • 77Pat
    replied
    Originally posted by Pepetito View Post
    why the negative association with A&F? It was all anyone wore when I was like 14-18.
    At my school many wore it, but it was a dividing line. Those who had more money wore it. It was at the mall that was 30 minutes away. The local mall had Aeropostale and AE, with A&F moving in later, after peak popularity. I mainly started with Aeropostale during middle school until I got tired of the logos, then went to AE. Never did make it up to A&F. Took a turn to Gap/BR, and checked out Martin + Osa while they were still around.

    Leave a comment:


  • LesserBlackDog
    replied
    Ell oh ell. A 15 year old marketing campaign? No. We’re talking about the culture of the brand. A culture of exclusion and disdain that was very deliberately cultivated by CEO Mike Jeffries for two decades until he “retired” just a few years ago. He only left the company in 2014.

    A brand is more than just the stuff it sells. A brand is also the reputation it has cultivated and the relationships it has created with customers... and potential customers. Abercrombie spent decades creating the reputation it now “enjoys.” It spent decades literally telling certain potential customers that their business was neither wanted nor needed, because they weren’t cool enough or thin enough or sexy enough or rich enough. No one is required to ignore that reputation or that relationship and let Abercrombie wipe the slate clean. It will take a lot longer than that for Abercrombie to shake off the reputation and relationships it worked so long and so hard to earn...

    Leave a comment:


  • connersw
    replied
    I'm not putting myself on any level. Everyone is free to purchase whatever they want from wherever they want. If you choose to not purchase from a place based on personal/political views, then that is for you to decide.

    I just find it laughable when self proclaimed members of the all inclusive crowd make disparaging remarks about a brand or the people that wear it based on the stereotype of a 15-year old marketing campaign.

    I hope you can see the irony of "I'm too cool to shop there because it's a cool guy/bro store" vs "I'm cooler than everyone else because I wear this cool guy bro-brand."

    My point was they are just clothes, and A&F has been making some good ones for a while now at better than average prices.

    Leave a comment:

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