Abercrombie & Fitch to close all standalone Gilly Hicks stores
Abercrombie & Fitch has announced that it is to close all of its standalone stores around the world for the Gilly Hicks lingerie brand.
The group said the closures would be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2014 although it will continue to sell the brand’s underwear through its Hollister chain of stores and via the Gilly Hicks website.
Abercrombie & Fitch currently operates 28 Gilly Hicks stores worldwide, five of which are in the UK.
In a statement, Abercrombie & Fitch chief executive Mike Jeffries said: "In connection with our long-term strategic review, we have decided to focus the future development of the Gilly Hicks brand through Hollister stores and direct-to-consumer channels. This decision reflects the successful pilot of selling Gilly Hicks branded intimates in Hollister stores.
“As a result, we have made the determination to close our stand-alone Gilly Hicks stores. We believe it is critical to focus our efforts and resources where we have the greatest opportunities to drive profitable growth for our brands."
The group added that the closures will result in pre-tax charges of about $90 million to $100 million.
At the same time, Abercrombie & Fitch reported that groupwide same store sales declined by 14% in the third quarter with net sales falling by 12% to $1.03 billion.
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