2005 was another stellar year for teen fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, where same store sales were up a whopping 29% in December. Huh? I thought this was a relatively disappointing holiday season for retailers? What gives at A&F?
A recent Tribune article by Mary Ellen Podmolik points to A&F's relentless focus on differentiation. No rocket science or complex segmentation schemes for this retailer, just back to basics focus on delighting consumers. "A&F's customers say they simply like the clothes. But retail experts point to more inviting stores, all sizes and styles available in the store, and merchandise, environments and prices tied to specific consumer groups". (Teen Stores Leading the Herd, Tribune, 1/14/06).
The tribune article goes on to quote the company: ..."we do not advertise in the conventional sense...we advertise through our in-store experience and making that experience very special for our customer...it's the look, the feel, the presentation standards, the music, the smell".
A winning retail strategy doesn't get much simpler than that does it?