Abercombie tries to clean up its image, adds new product director

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) looks to be cleaning up its act, changing product descriptions, repositioning brands and filling a newly created brand director position.

The troubled teen retailer has been trying to lure back shoppers following controversy surrounding the retailer's leadership, disappointing sales and inventory challenges. Abercrombie has been revamping mall-based locations and is preparing to give Hollister stores a makeover, including a lower pricing structure to cater to younger customers and their budgets.

And now it's repositioning the brand to move beyond its image as a purveyor of elite cool for only the sexiest of young shoppers.

It's an image that originally served the retailer well, building Abercrombie into a coveted brand among the notoriously fickle youth. But times change along with teens' tastes. New language implies a new positioning by Abercrombie, one of Southern California laid back cool, fostering fun and friendship.

Buzzfeed Business analyzed the wording in Abercrombie's quarterly filing and found a distinct difference in how the retailer describes its various brands. Gone are references to "East Coast traditions and Ivy League heritage" while words like "sexy" and "privilege" have been scrubbed from the documents.

The retailer has also named Christos Angelides to the newly created position of brand president of its Abercrombie & Fitch and abercrombie kids brands, effective October 2014.

Angelides will be responsible for all product and customer-facing activities and for the financial performance of the brands. Angelides hails from Next, a U.K fashion brand and retailer.

Commenting on the appointment, CEO Mike Jeffries said, "We are excited to welcome Christos to the Abercrombie & Fitch team and to deepen our bench of senior leadership talent. Christos brings 28 years of experience working with a multi-billion dollar international retailer. His experience with all aspects of running a business made him the perfect candidate for this newly created role. Christos' appointment is a critical step in our long-term strategy of being organized to win and we are excited to welcome him to the Abercrombie team."

For more:
-See this Abercrombie & Fitch press release
-See this Buzzfeed story

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