After weeks (one could say years) of bad press and controversy over comments made by company execs and an overall exclusionary attitude, it looks like Abercrombie & Fitch is getting its comeuppance. The company announced that sales had dropped 17 percent for the first quarter of this year. According to The Huffington Post, the numbers were falling before the controversies erupted, but sales certainly won’t be helped by the scandals. The CEO of the company, Mike Jeffries, says a lack of inventory was the problem.
“It took a little bit longer than anticipated to flow in some of our spring deliveries,” Reuters quotes Jeffries, who spoke during a conference call on Friday. The company has cut sales forecasts for he year as well.
Just last week, Abercrombie issued an apology after teens protested outside the company’s Ohio headquarters. They asked the company to start selling larger sizes (above a 10 and a Large), to cut down on its racy ads, and to focus on anti-bullying and diversity efforts. The company’s statement, after meeting with the students, read, “We look forward to continuing this dialogue and taking concrete steps to demonstrate our commitment to anti-bullying in addition to our ongoing support of diversity and inclusion. We want to reiterate that we sincerely regret and apologize for any offense caused by comments we have made in the past which are contrary to these values.”
The question is, will it help?