Abercrombie and Fitch - A Case Study

Essay by harrismojoUniversity, Master'sA+, January 2006

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External Analysis

Target market

Abercrombie and Fitch is one of today's most popular clothing companies that cater to American's youth culture. Abercrombie and Fitch clothing is worn by children and young adults, but is largely marketed to the college-age population. Abercrombie and Fitch have been in existence since 1892, beginning as an outdoors sporting goods supplier. Today, A&F stores can be found in malls across America and the A&F logo is easily seen on any high school or college campuses. Abercrombie and Fitch clothes are even worn by cast members of the hugely popular television show, friend.

The company claims 18 to 22 year olds as it target market, but it's marketing appears to be aimed at all teens in general. The claim of a college-age target market is likely designed to counteract backlash form its erotic "shockvertising". Abercrombie and Fitch recently introduced toned-down "Abercrombie" stores with a target market of 7 to 14 year olds.

Abercrombie and Fitch have received both positive and negative publicity as a result of its target market. Abercrombie's positive publicity is mainly due to the positive reaction of 18 to 22 year-olds. Alternatively, Abercrombie's negative publicity is attributable to parents, legislators and consumers advocates. Such individuals feel that the Abercrombie's depiction of the American college experience is not seen as responsible by growing number of parents and lawmakers, especially because the company's message are reaching children under 18.


As the company struggle to capture its target market, they are also face with major competitors. Abercrombie and Fitch primary competitors are Gap Inc, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and J Crew. Brand positioning due to the nature of the retailing business, Abercrombie and Fitch must and had been constantly focus on the customers needs with high levels of service on order to capture, create, and...