Shirtless Employees, Sexualized Gift Cards No Longer Part Of Abercrombie & Fitch's Business Model

You'll have to get your soft-core porn with a side of retail elsewhere.
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Time was, Abercrombie & Fitch made its money by displaying rugby shirts and jeans alongside scantily-clad 8-packs doused in entire bottles of cologne. If sales were slightly disappointing in any given quarter, execs simply dictated on high that rank and file employees remove an article of clothing of their choice, like some kind of game of corporate strip poker, and boom: 15% growth. Now? As in, starting today? Those days are over.

Teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch is putting an end to the beefcake. In a set of personnel policies announced Friday, the company said it would stop hiring sales staff on “body type or physical attractiveness” and will relax its infamous “Look policy” so that employees can dress themselves. The official title for sales staff will now be Brand Representative, replacing the old title: Model. The company’s sex tinged marketing is being dialed back as well. “By the end of July, there will no longer be sexualized marketing used in marketing materials including, in-store photos, gift cards, and shopping bags,” Abercrombie said. And store openings and events will no longer be decorated with shirtless models...The company said Friday it will take time to see the impact of the new policies on sales of the new policies, which also include an “improved sensory experience.” Abecrombie said it plans to “adjust the scent, lighting, music and trees to ensure a more pleasurable shopping experience.”

Abercrombie & Fitch Dials Back The Sex [WSJ]
Bye-Bye, Beefcake: Abercrombie’s Hot Salesclerk Policy Is Over [Bloomberg]

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