Amid the swirling rumors that Abercrombie & Fitch Co. may be for sale, the retail chain today reported a 3.6% dip in its fiscal first quarter revenue.
Those results reflected a tough retail environment in which Abercrombie felt the need to be “aggressively promotional,” says CEO Fran Horowitz. While she expects those conditions to continue in the second quarter, she believes the retailer’s marketing and omnichannel investments will pay off in the second half the year.
She points to the retailer’s direct-to-consumer sales, which include web transactions and sales placed online within a store, as a bright spot for the merchant. Direct-to-consumer sales grew an estimated 7.8% during the quarter ended April 29.
“The international rollout of full omnichannel capabilities, coupled with insights from multiple customer touch points online and in-store, including our rapidly growing loyalty programs, means we are better equipped to anticipate our customers’ needs whenever, wherever and however they choose to engage with our brands,” she says.
For the fiscal first quarter ended April 29, Abercrombie reported:
- Total revenue of $661.1 million down 3.6% from $685.5 million from fiscal Q1 2016.
- Direct-to-consumer and omnichannel sales accounted for 27% of net sales, up from 24% a year earlier. That translates to an estimated $178.5 million in direct-to-consumer sales, up 7.8% from an estimated $165.6 million.
- Comparable-store sales, which include U.S. and international, declined 3%. The retailer’s Abercrombie brand’s comparable-store sales fell 10%, while same-store sales for its Hollister brand grew 3%.
- Net loss was $61.7 million compared with $39.6 million loss a year earlier.