Abercrombie & Fitch abandons Australia

unnamed-3The Australian retail market has proved more challenging that expected for US-based retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch, with the company confirming it is closing its two Hollister & Co stores and exiting the local market.

Abercrombie & Fitch opened its first Hollister & Co store in Australia at Westfield Doncaster in Melbourne in April 2012, followed by a second store one month later at Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney.

Joanne Crevoiserat, executive VP and CFO, Abercrombie & Fitch, said the performance of the Australian stores had been disappointing, even after allowing for the seasonality challenge of operating in the southern hemisphere.

“We therefore decided during the quarter to activate the provision in our leases which enables us to make a country exit and close those stores around the end of fiscal 2015,” Crevoiserat said.

Jonathan Ramsden, executive VP and COO, said the company always knew Australia would be a test for the brand, with it deciding to exit in the last couple of months.

“We wanted to make sure that if the test didn’t perform we had the ability to exit fairly quickly which is what we have done,” Ramsden said.

“We always knew it would be challenging because of the southern hemisphere component. I think even above and beyond that it was more challenging than we expected.”

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