By: Amanda Hayes, Managing Editor
For most millennials, it has been a while since we tried to navigate across the Abercrombie and Fitch store at the mall, stumbling through dark lighting and overpowering scents of cologne to get to our favorite slim-fitted tee.
This is why Abercrombie is currently doing everything in their power to get back millennials with a brand new redesign to their logo, store and clothing line. This is in desperate efforts to save the store from closing, especially in lieu of the major loss in sales following the quote from their CEO Mike Jeffries.
It was no surprise that Abercrombie had a specific target market when they designed their clothing, but the brand suffered greatly when their own CEO Mike Jeffries stated “cool kids … the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends.” Jeffries even went on to add “a lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong,” Jeffries famously said in the Salon interview. “Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.” Although Mike Jeffries shortly stepped down from the position following his comment, this undoubtedly received a great deal of backlash and lost a great deal of clients, especially those from the millennial demographic. According to The Wall Street Journal, as stores are emerging with cheaper and better options, “Abercrombie’s total sales of $3.5 billion last year were about 22% less.”
In desperate efforts to save the company, Abercrombie decided that really what was necessary was a complete makeover for the company, removing sexuality and perceived perfection from their advertisements. The campaign has been in the works since 2014 and expects to be fully launched in stores by 2017. Targeting the demographic of 18-25 years old, the campaign is removing its previous sexual tones and replacing them with more subtle looks. The campaign even is launching an anti-bullying campaign, which is something that is necessary for the company to combat the statement from their past CEO. Abercrombie has everything from new clothing lines, interior designs of stores and bags, as well as even a redesign to their logo. Not only are they changing their image they are even deleting any past images that represented their company from their Instagram. Abercrombie now has models wearing more hipster fashions and being photographed in outdoor environments as opposed to the sexual poses the models were often depicted in before. The new focus is on being individualist and unique because that is something that millennials aspire to be instead of trying to be a part of the in-crowd.
Pictured above are images on Abercrombie’s made-over Instagram page. The brand certainly needs a lot of positive publicity to prove to their targeted audience that they aren’t the bullies of local shopping malls. Perhaps with a redesign to the store as well as to their attitude will have us millennials feeling nostalgic as we step back into their (hopefully brighter) stores. Let us know what you think! How do you feel about this attempt to restore faith in their millennial shoppers and do you think what they are doing will be effective?