With weak back-to-school sales and a slow holiday anticipated, Abercrombie & Fitch Company (NYSE:ANF
) is not only turning to sales outside of the US but also kicking off a socially relevant fashion statement here at home. Last month the company unveiled a cause marketing campaign that gets a graphic anti-bullying t-shirt message in front of school students. Teaming up with a bullying expert and a celebrity spokesperson for a wearable cause is an excellent way to reach target youth consumers, increases sales, generate buzz and make a difference. The cross-country campaign features Cali Linstrom, a champion of anti-bullying and current high school senior in Chicago.
But why is all of this extra-curricular activity necessary for an apparel manufacturer? It’s creative marketing, especially when prices remain flat in the face of increasing production costs in an industry that faces increasing uncertainty. The apparel market in the US weighs in for about 28% of the global market, at a value of $331 billion, according to Statista. So it’s understandable that Abercrombie & Fitch, like other major apparel makers, would focus on greener pastures outside the US to offset flat or declining sales at home. Further, Trefis reported that Abercrombie & Fitch had low inventory issues in the first fiscal quarter of 2013, and it hurt their comparable store sales. Continue Reading »