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Abercrombie & Fitch to Launch New Store Prototype at Ohio Mall

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Abercrombie & Fitch is rebranding its stores nationwide, starting with one of its most popular Ohio locations.

WP Glimcher, a retail real-estate investment trust (REIT), announced that Abercrombie & Fitch will debut a new store prototype at the Columbus-based Polaris Fashion Place in early 2017. This store will be the first to reflect Abercrombie & Fitch’s latest brand makeover.

“We are looking forward to launching our first A&F prototype in Polaris, a great fashion destination right in our backyard, which will allow us to receive customer feedback firsthand,” said A&F president and CMO Fran Horowitz. “With the strong performance we are seeing with our new Hollister prototype, the updated A&F store will also deliver a differentiated and elevated experience for customers, and will highlight how we are evolving as a brand.”

Abercrombie & Fitch’s store update follows its disappointing Q1 results. In May, the company reported its total Q1 net sales ($685.5 million) were down 3 percent from 2015 and that total company sales in the quarter were down 4 percent. In terms of individual brands, Abercrombie & Fitch’s net sales decreased 5 percent to $323.3 million, compared to Hollister, which only experienced a 2 percent decrease in net sales after recently switching to a new store prototype.

Abercrombie & Fitch’s locations will feature updated merchandise selections and a slightly different interior. The company expects its new image to resonate with existing customers and attract new shoppers who love the brand’s casual clothing.

“It is exciting for Polaris Fashion Place to be the launch site of Abercrombie & Fitch’s latest prototype store. As Columbus’s most fashionable address, the center has long been a test market for nationally recognized brands and new retail concepts,” said Polaris Fashion Place general manager Bruce Goldsberry. “As a result, we continue to exceed shopper expectations by providing them with the brands they seek and new experiences for them to enjoy.”

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