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Abercrombie & Fitch expects online growth to drive better Q4 results

By Prachi Singh

Jan. 12, 2021

In its updated fourth quarter 2020 plan, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said, it now expects net sales to decline in the 5 percent to 7 percent range versus plan of down 5 percent to down 10 percent, reflecting ongoing digital momentum offset by store closures and capacity restrictions in North America and EMEA. The company anticipates gross profit rate to be up at least 130 basis points to last year’s 58.2 percent versus plan of flat to up slightly, benefiting from reduced depth and breadth of promotions and markdowns relative to plan and to last year.

Commenting on the update, Fran Horowitz, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement: “I am proud of our quarter-to-date performance, including the peak holiday selling period. We expect lower promotional depth and breadth to drive gross profit rate expansion in the quarter. Our digital sales continue to be robust, partially offsetting ongoing store challenges, where we have experienced reduced hours of operation, capacity restrictions and closures in EMEA and North America.”

The company expects operating expense, excluding other operating income, to be down at least 2 percent from fiscal 2019 adjusted non-GAAP operating expense of 566 million dollars, reflecting savings in store expenses due to closures and the recognition of rent abatements. This compares to plan of up 1 percent to 2 percent.

Picture:Abercrombie & Fitch media gallery