Admit it: at one time or another you shopped at Abercrombie & Fitch–ensnared by the heady scent and promise of shirtless male employees. Of course, eventually, we all got the braces off and realized logo tees and sweats do not a fashion statement make–but it was a sartorial right of passage of sorts. Unfortunately, for the mass market retailer, these days it seems kiddies are growing up a little faster and cluing into the fact that denim short shorts and spaghetti strapped tanks just aren’t all that cool.
In fact according to findings at the recent Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference, a panel of high school students almost unanimously dissed and dismissed Abercrombie & Fitch and its cheaper cousin Hollister as passé. But just how uncool could they be? Think the sweaters your grandma bought you at Christmas. One teen who worked at Hollister even said if not for her job she wouldn’t be caught dead in the clothes for fear of social ostracism–comparing it to J.C. Penney.
Of course the dwindling in cachet shouldn’t come as a huge shocker. What with teen idols like Miley Cyrus strutting around town in Alexander Wang booties and stores like Target shilling designer wares at allowance friendly prices. Instead, the conference reports that the teen panel named Urban Outfitters and privately-held retailer Forever 21 as the cool stores–you know the one’s that have lots of ‘friends’ and everybody ‘likes.’ Well, at least Abercrombie still has the foreigners–unless cool travels like coodies.