Abercrombie Completes an Astonishing Resurrection

In seven years, Abercrombie went from "most hated retailer" to outperforming NVIDIA

In 2016, Abercrombie was voted America’s most hated retailer. In 2023 it gained 285% on the stock market, making it the best performing stock on the S&P Index. It even beat out NVIDIA. What happened in those seven years?

  • Fran Horowitz took over as CEO in 2017. She kept three things top of mind when she took over: 1) Pace the evolution and don’t try to do everything at once. 2) Combine legacy team members with fresh thinkers. 3) Make mistakes and move on, don’t wait for things to be perfect.
  • The brand was willing to let go of the past. It evaluated the demographics it chased, the imagery it used, how it marketed itself, and the experience it created in stores. Analysts credit Abercrombie for genuinely listening to what customers said about the brand and what they needed from a retailer.
  • They streamlined store operations. Smaller stores, lean inventory, and efficient operations combined to create the economic conditions that could make a long-term transformation possible.

Read more about this transformation at FastCo, Business Insider, and RetailDive.

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