ABERCROMBIE & FITCH TO CLOSE 60 STORES DESPITE SALES INCREASES

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Mall-based teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch announced on Wednesday that it will be closing 60 stores later this year.

The retailer, which also owns the Hollister brand, closed nearly 40 stores last year, having previously planned to shutter 60 locations. In 2016, it closed about 50 shops.

The company has said many of its leases are up for renewal by the end of fiscal 2018, which gives it some flexibility to move out without a fight with landlords. Abercrombie hasn’t disclosed exactly which locations will be closing this year.

Abercrombie and Fitch Holiday 2017Also Wednesday, Abercrombie reported strong earnings results for the holiday period. Same-store sales were up 9 percent overall for the fourth quarter. Same-store sales for the Hollister banner jumped 11 percent.

“We are pleased by our performance, delivering positive comparable sales for the fourth quarter across brands, channels, and geographies and more than doubling our operating income,” added Fran Horowitz, chief executive officer of Abercrombie & Fitch. “Our focus on staying close to our customer, executing to our playbook and maintaining our disciplined approach to expense management delivered a strong performance on both the top and bottom line.”

“Overall, 2017 was a year of significant progress,” added Horowitz. “We achieved several important milestones, including Hollister growing to $2 billion in sales, Abercrombie returning to positive comparable sales for the fourth quarter and record digital sales across all brands. We continue to improve the customer experience with ongoing investments in loyalty programs, stores, direct-to-consumer and omnichannel capabilities.”

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