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Abercrombie And Fitch Home Office

Abercrombie And Fitch Home Office

Confession: What It’s Really Like Working at Abercrombie & Fitch’s Corporate Headquarters Abercrombie & Fitch is famously controversial for its provocative ad campaigns, its CEO’s commitment to not making plus-size clothing, and its very strict dress codes. Here, a former employee at Abercrombie’s corporate headquarters explains what working in the thick of the brand was really like.
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Abercrombie And Fitch Home Office

Because of extensive counterfeiting of Abercrombie & Fitch goods, in 2006 the company launched a brand protection program to combat the problem worldwide (focusing more on China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea) by working with legal forces globally. The program is headed by a former FBI Supervisory Special Agent who was part of the FBI’s Intellectual Property Rights program, and covers all A&F brands. A&F says that the program “will improve current practices and strategies by focusing on eliminating the supply of illicit Abercrombie & Fitch products.”
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Abercrombie And Fitch Home Office

Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) is an American retailer that focuses on upscale casual wear for young consumers, its headquarters are in New Albany, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The company operates 2 other offshoot brands: Abercrombie Kids & Hollister Co. The company operates 1,049 stores across all four brands.
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Abercrombie And Fitch Home Office

To combat heavy competition from fast-fashion retailers like Forever 21 and H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch announced key changes to change its image. It aims to reduce emphasis on sexualized advertising and focus more on customer service & diversity. Among the changes announced are eliminating sexualized advertising, no longer having shirtless models at new store openings, and eliminating sexualized pictures and advertising on bags, gift cards, and in stores. They are changing the name of store employees from “models” to “brand representatives”, and will allow a more individualistic dress code. “Brand representatives” will also focus more on customer service by asking customers for help in stores, as opposed to past policies of aloofness. They also aim to promote more diversity among store employees and executives as well. A&F is signaling it will be implementing changes quickly.
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Abercrombie And Fitch Home Office

Once known for its sexy ad campaigns, the company has toned down its imagery and no longer displays nearly nude models in their advertisements. According to Chairman Arthur Martinez, Abercrombie and Fitch is now targeting an older consumer, from ages 18-25. These changes provide the hopes that the audience will see the company is evolving along with its consumers, and boost sales.
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Abercrombie And Fitch Home Office

Abercrombie & Fitch has carried men’s fragrances Fierce, Colden, and has re-branded the original cologne Woods (Christmas Floorset 2010). Women’s fragrances have included 8, Perfume 41, Wakely, and Perfume #1. Fierce and 8 are the most heavily marketed fragrances, as they are the signature scents of the brand overall.
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Abercrombie And Fitch Home Office

In 2008, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio agreed to rename its emergency room to the Abercrombie & Fitch Emergency Department and Trauma Center in exchange for a $10 million donation. A letter written by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, signed by over 100 doctors and children’s advocacy groups, argued against the renaming, for the “company’s appalling history of targeting children with sexualized marketing and clothing.”
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Abercrombie And Fitch Home Office

The Abercrombie & Fitch brand is believed to have reached its maximum growth potential in the American market. International expansion began in 2005, with the long-term goal of opening flagships for A&F (and eventually all its brands), in high-profile locations worldwide “at a deliberate pace”. After initially opening at a deliberately slow pace, the company began to accelerate international expansion for its namesake and its Hollister Co. brand in 2012.
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In recent years, Abercrombie & Fitch has engaged in philanthropic and humanitarian projects. In January 2010, the company launched the “A&F Cares” feature on its website to inform the public about its efforts in the fields of diversity, inclusion, human rights, philanthropy, and sustainability.
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Lawsuits have been filed against the company due to alleged discriminatory employment practices. In 2004, in Gonzalez v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores (see “Legal issues” and “Controversy and Criticism” below), the company was sued for giving desirable positions to white applicants, to the exclusion of minorities.
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Built in 2002, the campus of global clothing powerhouse Abercrombie & Fitch is located in New Albany, Ohio. Designed by Anderson Architects, it is located on a sprawling landscape of both tree cover and grassy meadows.
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Women’s Wear Daily calls Abercrombie & Fitch clothing classically “neo-preppy”, with an “edgy tone and imagery”. The company’s fashions have a reputation for luxury, with the majority of designs trend-driven. There is heavy promotion of “Premium Jeans”. In early 2010, the company introduced a leather handbag collection inspired by designs from Ruehl.
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In 2010, a Muslim woman working at a Hollister store in San Mateo, California, was fired. Before being dismissed, Hani Khan had refused Abercrombie & Fitch’s human-resources representative’s demand that she remove her hijab. The representative reportedly stated that the headscarf, which Khan wears for religious reasons, violated the company’s “Look Policy”. The civil liberties group Council on American-Islamic Relations has stated that the dismissal is a violation of nondiscrimination laws, and filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
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Abercrombie has a security force of guys who look like models, and it wouldn’t be unusual to see them leave the front desk and play Frisbee or kick a soccer ball out front. Then during office parties, they would pop their shirts off and serve a tomato-mozzarella appetizer — cater waiters. I mean, these are people who work here. Sometimes at the office parties, which took place mostly after our quarterly staff meetings in the middle of the day, a beer truck would show up. One guy, it became legend, got so drunk that he either stole a golf cart or urinated on it in full view of the company. It was very surreal, having these “parties” during office hours and then going back to work.
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A&F is known for its racy marketing photography by Bruce Weber. It is rendered to grayscale and features outdoor settings, usually with semi-nude males and females for an increased tone of sexuality. A&F casts only store employees for marketing campaigns. Casting directors from the home office travel to key A&F regional stores in the United States and to London to hold “casting calls” for employees aspiring to become the next “A&F New Face”. The company promotes its casting sessions, models, and photo shoots in the “A&F Casting” feature online at abercrombie.com. The website also provides a gallery of current photography. Framed copies at A&F stores will sometimes name the model and store.
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In 2012, A&F announced plans that it would open its Abercrombie Kids shop at No. 3 on Savile Row, next door to Gieves & Hawkes. The plans drew criticism and opposition from the tailors of the Row, who were already unhappy about the presence of the main A&F store on Burlington Gardens at the end of the Row to begin with, which eventually led to a protest organized by The Chap magazine on April 23, 2012. During the consultation period, objections were lodged to Westminster City Council and in February 2013 the Council rejected many of A&F’s proposals for the store, and branded the entire plans “utterly unacceptable.” A&F appealed, managed to overcome the obstacles and opened the store in September 2014. The following year, A&F was subject to nearly £16,000 in fines and legal costs when it was ruled that changes it had made to the Grade II-listed building were illegal.
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Orientation was relatively typical, focused on the story of A&F; starting as an outfitter in New York City. We were strongly encouraged to wear A&F; clothes and, weirdly, told never to wear black or purple. (You’ll never see those colors on Abercrombie clothes.) I worked with someone in his forties who wore a black windbreaker occasionally, and we’d joke, let’s not stand near him, we’ll all get in trouble. Even contract employees doing tech support are expected to match the corporate culture on campus (that’s what they call the headquarters). You’d hear rumors about people who didn’t wear A&F; clothes appropriately and were told, “Please don’t eat lunch on campus anymore, go to the distribution center” — a hidden-from-the-public building off-campus — “and eat there.”
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“Did I not tell you it was supposed to be casual?” was the first thing my interviewer said to me when I showed up at Abercrombie’s corporate headquarters in 2007. I was dressed for my first “big kid” job — tie, jacket, suit. She was wearing a fleece and jeans. I immediately rolled up my sleeves and ditched the tie (I probably looked like the end of a wedding), and surprisingly, the rest of the interview went well. A week later, the job was mine.
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In 2002, A&F sold a shirt that featured the slogan “Wong Brothers Laundry Service – Two Wongs Can Make It White” with smiling figures in conical Asian hats, a depiction of early Chinese immigrants. The company discontinued the designs and apologized after a boycott started by an Asian American student group at Stanford University. That same year, abercrombie kids removed a line of thong underwear sold for girls in pre-teen children’s sizes after parents mounted nationwide storefront protests. The underwear included phrases like “Eye Candy” and “Wink Wink” printed on the front.

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