Report: Abercrombie & Fitch Weighing Takeover Bids

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Abercrombie & Fitch, once home to the hottest logo tees around, is considering takeover bids.

Reuters announced the news early Wednesday, citing sources close to the proceedings. The company is reportedly working with Perella Weinberg Partners to weigh the offers.

Abercrombie was one of the first to be hit by the wave of consumer apathy, which rippled through the mall, eventually taking down The Limited, Aéropostale, Wet Seal and PacSun. Sales deflated quickly at the stores when shoppers grew tired of the logo-heavy aesthetic, signaling a sea change in teen retail. The brand has since struggled to find a new identity, and its core demographic has mostly decamped to fast fashion purveyors that pump out looks not logos.

Abercrombie closed the fourth quarter with a 5 percent decrease in comp sales across its flagship brand and the California-inspired Hollister concept—though the beachy label eked out a 1 percent increase in same store sales. Fifty-five percent of the company’s sales in FY 2016 were derived from Hollister, and the U.S. accounts for 63 percent of sales.

Through January, the company operated 898 stores. It closed 53 U.S. locations in fiscal year 2016 and has announced plans to close 60 more this year. Additionally, Abercrombie laid off 150 employees at its corporate offices in January.

The retailer will also pour $70 million into updates to existing stores, a process that has already started and is credited with Hollister’s positive momentum. The company began to test a new retail concept for Abercrombie & Fitch stores last summer that feature updated merchandise and a slight redesign.

Abercrombie also announced the re-launch of Gilly Hicks in January. The intimates brand, which had been shelved in 2015, is now available in Hollister locations.

Abercrombie has a new CEO at the head, former CMO Fran Horowitz, who was promoted in February.


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