Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch is an upscale lifestyle brand in fashion retail owned by Limited, Inc. with headquarters in New Albany, Ohio. The same company owns the Gap, Hollister, Old Navy, and several others. The brand caters mostly to the clothing needs of the young and trendy particularly those with ages 18 to 22 years old. Their creations mostly consist of casual and active wear.
A&F first opened its doors to business as a small water front shop and factory situated in downtown, Manhattan, New York. The store was originally founded by David T. Abercrombie on June 4, 1892. Being an outdoor enthusiast himself, the store initially specializes in the manufacturing of quality gears and apparel for outdoor sports such as hunting, fishing and camping.
Ezra Fitch, a lawyer, later became the store's regular costumer. He saw the store’s potential and decided to buy a major share. Subsequently, he became a partner in the 1900. Abercrombie Co. became Abercrombie & Fitch.
The partnership didn’t last long. Frequent disputes erupted between the two men arising from difference of opinion concerning the future of the company. Abercrombie insisted on selling sports gear to professional outdoors men. Fitch, on the other hand, wanted the store to expand its market by focusing on the general public. In 1909, Abercrombie resigned leaving the store in the sole management of Ezra Fitch. Fitch was a visionary. He hired experienced outdoors men as sales clerks. He placed a tent in the middle of the store while a campfire blazed in a corner. The store grew as sales continue to boost.
To further increase sales, A&F ventured in publishing a magazine showcasing 456 pages of outdoor equipment and clothing and mailed it to 50,000 prospective clients. Soon enough, A&F became a pioneer in New York to provide such clothing to men & women. After a series of different owners, Limited Inc. finally bought A&F in 1988.
Nowadays, A&F is a huge name in fashion retail. It has over 500 stores throughout USA, Canada, Denmark, Italy and Japan. It plans to expand its existing stores in Canada. For 2009, the company earned roughly $3.54 B and has over 10,000 employees . Throughout the years, the company image had transformed from a store for active outdoors to the advertising scantily clad teenagers. The company also publishes the A&F magazine on quarterly basis, with a vision to sell not only clothes but a lifestyle.