Abercrombie and Fitch – External Analysis and Internal Analysis
The style of clothes offered by A&F could be described as worn, casual, and ether rugged.
Some critics contend the merchandise at A&F seemingly overpriced considering that it is arguably no more unique than any other store of its kind geared toward the same market. One aspect of A&F that does make it unique from other stores, however, is their catalog that was first published in 1997 and out four times a year with a spring break, summer, back-to-school, and Christmas Issue.
The Quarterly magazine-catalog hybrid that, in addition to the clothing portion of the catalog, has interviews with actors, musicians, directors, and even some famous scholars. Fashion legend Bruce Weber does many of the photographs that appear throughout the magazine, and “these photos depict young, healthy, presumably red-blooded Americans posing, frolicking, and generally living what could be considered the good life. ‘ They do this in Firebombed clothes, sometimes; other times, they do this out of the Firebombed clothes.
As mentioned previously, the first publication of the Quarterly was released in 1997, and the catalog was immediately met with controversy and public outcry. The attorneys general of Illinois and Michigan as well as Mothers Agent Drunk Driving announced the 1998 “Back to School” issue for “encouraging underage drinking” with an article entitled “Drinking 101 . ” Despite the fact that there was never any mention of pairing drinking with driving, A;F responded by placing a ban on any magazine material that could be viewed as encouraging underage drinking.
It is Interesting that the Quarterly even decided to write an article regarding drinking since the main target market is under the legal drinking age. After this interchange with government officials and some angry mothers, decided to switched gears and focus instead on sex as the theme of their artery publication.
In addition to the magazine features discussed, interviews with porn stars as well as other actors who are dubious role models for preteens and teenagers were included.
In a particular interview, one male porn star brags about his nearly 1700 porn films and offers advice to those interested in entering his field. Furthermore, sex advice columns and other racy feature articles are sometimes part of the Quarterly. The Christmas 1999 issue titled “Naughty or Nice” included images of sadomasochistic Santa and elves all clad in leather and posing in questionable sections. This issue led Illinois Lieutenant Governor Chorine Wood to call for a boycott of A;F. The boycott has gained nationwide support and is spearheaded ¶y the American Decency Association (DAD).
As a result tot the actions taken by Lieutenant Governor Wood, A;F now packages its magazine in opaque shrink “rap, and there is a muff must be 18 years of age” sticker affixed to the cover. It retails for $6 an issue and can be received either by subscription or at an A;F retail outlet. While A;F took action to make sure that minors are not able to erectly access the magazine, Wood is not satisfied. Wood and others strongly believed that the clothing retailer is peddling soft porn in the form of a clothing catalog, which is completely inappropriate for the market that typically purchases the merchandise.
She claims that “A&F is clamoring indiscriminate sexual behavior that unsophisticated teenagers are not possibly equipped to weigh against the dangers of date rape, unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
” The publication displays page after page of partially nude young people, oftentimes in sexually explicit positions. Others in favor of the boycott warn that A;F is manipulating young people into thinking that it is okay to take part in the behaviors that are depicted and written about and that in fact it will make one “cool. Adolescents at the preteen and teen levels are impressionable, and it is the fear of many of these outraged parents that their children will start to adopt these behaviors that are inappropriate for such a pun age. A&F does not appear to be overly concerned with the complaints; in fact, recent issues have had an increased amount of nudity, and the spring issue that had men rated “XX. ” At the heart of the debate lies the question, “Have the sales of A;F seen an increase since the racy publication started circulating? Recently, an 18 percent dip in sales occurred that A;F Chairman and Chief Michael Jiffies mainly as a result of the 9/11/01 national tragedy.
President Bill Johnson of the DAD claims, “Eighteen percent is a heavy dip in sales to attribute solely to the September 1 lath attacks. Anteater was affecting their sales was going on long before then. So, while they may not admit it, I strongly believe our boycott was having an impact. ” After years of boycotts and criticisms from lawmakers and concerned parents, decided to cancel the 2001 issue of the Christmas Quarterly.
Michael lefties claims that in light of the September 11 attacks, it would not be an appropriate move to publish the catalog for the Christmas season. While this may indicate that those opposing the disputed catalog have won, this in fact not be true.
Plans to pick up where it left off this past fall with the spring break issue of 2002 that will likely resemble past controversial catalogs. In defense of the Quarterly, Jiffies does not feel as though “kids should be locked way in boxes until they’re 50,” and claims that he is not at all concerned with the criticisms both he and A;F have received.
The chain’s sales are beginning to pick up, and Jiffies is uncertain as to what decision to make about future issues of the Quarterly. 1 . Is A&F really using the Quarterly to generate free publicity and to create a dimension of controversy and rebellion sometimes important to their youthful target market? 2.
If you were called in as an advisor to Jiffies, what would you tell him to 30 about the Quarterly? 3. How does this case relate to the ethical theories/ frameworks we have discussed