Abercrombie & Fitch is an American clothing brand that was funded in 1892 by David Thomas Abercrombie and Ezra Hasbrouck Fitch. At that time the company was selling hiking, hunting and fishing articles. Nowadays, Abercrombie & Fitch’s image is a top of the range brand and also includes the two brands Hollister Co and Gilly Hicks. The American brand is spread out worldwide in about 20 countries and is available only in a few places (mostly capital cities) in order to keep their “prestigious” image.
Abercrombie & Fitch built its image on a clothing company that is targeting “beautiful people”. The company only hires the “models”, meaning the in-store sellers, based on their physical appearances. The brand’s campaigns have also been known for over the years showing nearly nude models in suggestive poses. By using models within its stores and campaigns, Abercrombie wants to set an image of a brand that is only targeting beautiful young people and wants those customers to wear it. If only adequate customers wear it, then the brand’s image is well represented.
Using this kind of brand building, the company has often been criticized for discriminating its employees but also its customers. The vendors are not hired according to their ability but to their appearances. Concerning the customers, how could they discriminate them? The American brand is offering selective sizes: the XL and XXL are not available in the woman section of the store.
Abercrombie’s strategy is discussed but yet is working for the company. the image might not be pleasant to everyone, however it is appealing the clients they want to have as it is flattering for them and they feel part of something special.
“Abercrombie & Fitch, La Marque des gens beaux, minces et riches”, Bérangère McNeese, L’OBS, May 14th 2013 http://rue89.nouvelobs.com/2013/05/14/abercrombie-fitch-marque-gens-beaux-minces-riches-242324
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