Abercrombie & Fitch Is Ditching The Shirtless Store Models
There is a big change coming soon to Abercrombie & Fitch stores. The company is changing its policy and all of its sexualized marketing is going out the door, including those shirtless male models!
The change is part of the fashion brand’s move “to a customer-centric store-operating model and making it more convenient, friendlier and easier to shop.”
While the clothing will no longer be promoted with shirtless models, the brand’s cologne line will continue to feature a shirtless man “consistent with the fragrance industry.”
“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,” the company’s press release stated (via BuzzFeed). “Hollister will no longer use shirtless lifeguards for store openings and events. A&F will no longer use shirtless models for store openings and events.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK of the company ditching the shirtless models?
Click inside to read the complete press release on the company changes…
MEDIA ALERT – APRIL 24, 2015: EFFECTIVE TODAY, ABERCROMBIE & FITCH and HOLLISTER CONTINUE PROCESS OF CHANGE; STORE POLICIES OVERHAULED
These changes build on other changes undertaken including shift to a brand-based organization, appointment of brand presidents (A&F+abercrombie kids=Christos Angelides; Hollister =Fran Horowitz), and retirement of long-time CEO, Mike Jeffries, last December.
With a focus on providing an easy and enjoyable in-store experience for consumers, the brand is moving to a customer-centric store-operating model and making it more convenient, friendlier and easier to shop
· Knowledgeable & helpful staff that will focus on the customer and help drive sales
o Incentive program for managers [Implemented February 1, 2015] – Store managers now have a sales goal and are incentivized based on that. Motivation for managers to focus on customer service.
· Managers will have more autonomy for product placement etc, so stores won’t feel as prescriptive
· New objective to ensure check out lines are kept to a minimum through various processes
· Omni channel initiatives, such as, order in store
· Improved sensory experience: adjust scent, lighting, music and trees to ensure a more pleasurable shopping experience
o This has been an evolution. The transition began last year, and now A&F and Hollister have decided to make more changes. Hollister: increased lighting significantly in Europe and Asia and working to roll out in the US
New Store Associate Policies:
More inclusive and diverse policies for hiring and dress code are being put into place
· Store associates will not be hired based on body type or physical attractiveness, and we will of course continue not to discriminate on any protected category [New store associate hiring policy attached]
· Look policy is replaced by a new dress code, with an open-minded approach allowing associates to be more individualistic [New store associate dress code attached]
· Store associates titles will change from “Model” to “Brand Representative” to align with their new customer focus
Sexualized Models and Photography
A&F and Hollister are making additional announcements about the use of this type of imagery
· 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.
· Hollister will no longer use shirtless lifeguards for store openings and events
· A&F will no longer use shirtless models for store openings and events
· Consistent with the fragrance industry, the shirtless model image will continue on A&F’s Fierce cologne
Commitment to Inclusion & Diversity:
A&F and Hollister will continue to build on their longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion
· Over 50% of store associates are non-white
· Being named a Best Place to work for the LGBT Community from 2007-2014
· Receiving a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for eight consecutive years
· Achieving significant gender diversity among its senior ranks, with over 40% of the Company’s vice presidents, and 75% of executive vice presidents being female. In addition, one-third of directors on the Company’s Board of Directors are female;
· Establishing the A&F Global Diversity and Leadership scholarship program with the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS)
· Establishing Diversity & Inclusion training program with required participation for all Home Office, Distribution Center and Store Management associates
Company expects that it will take some time for customers to realize the benefits of all of these changes, but optimistic that will see progress as the company moves through 2015
· Further aligning our policies with our corporate values, and those of our customers, will make the Company a stronger and more nimble competitor
· These initiatives reflect Abercrombie & Fitch’s commitment to making significant changes to drive growth, improve profitability and create value for shareholders