Abercrombie & Fitch sales flop

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Total net sales dropped to $485m (£386m) for the quarter to 2 May 2020, compared with $733m (£584m) in the first quarter of 2019.

Sales of its young fashion brand, Hollister, were down 36% year on year, and Abercrombie & Fitch sales dropped 30%.

Sales in the EMEA region were down 35% to $112m (£89m), compared with 31% in the US to $322m (£256m).

Fran Horowitz, chief executive, said: “I am proud of our global teams’ and partners’ perseverance, and swift call to action during this unprecedented period. We entered this fiscal year in a strong financial position, and in light of Covid-19 took immediate, strategic and aggressive steps to balance our short- and longer-term liquidity needs to best position the business for our key stakeholders.”

“With the well-being of our associates, customers and communities a top priority, and to help limit the spread of Covid-19, in mid-March we temporarily closed all stores across brands outside of the APAC [Asia-Pacific] region.

“Although our physical stores were closed, we continued to engage with our customer base through social media, influencer networks, apps, online events, websites and email.

“Our distribution centres remained operational, enabling us to fulfil digital customer demand globally, partially mitigating lost sales from temporary store closures. For the first quarter, we registered year-over-year global digital sales growth of approximately 25% with acceleration in the mid-March through April period and further acceleration in May.

“Today, roughly half of our global store base is open. With stores reopening in the US and the EMEA regions, we have experienced sales productivity for reopened stores of approximately 80% and 60%, respectively, as compared with last year’s levels.

“We look forward to continuing to serve our customers across channels, and remain committed to, and confident in, our long-term vision, including the global opportunities available to us.”

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