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How Abercrombie & Fitch uses EDITED to optimize assortments on a global scale

How does a powerhouse US retailer expanding internationally tailor their assortments and pricing to succeed in localized markets?
How Abercrombie & Fitch uses EDITED to optimize assortments on a global scale | EDITED

The Challenge

Abercrombie & Fitch Co., a global lifestyle retailer of American origin, continues to expand globally. To gain a better understanding of their international customers, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. opened regional corporate offices in London and Shanghai in 2019. “We had been in the markets for quite some time, but never had a team there directly. We knew we needed to take a more localized approach to stay connected to our customer and ensure we are delivering the types of products they want,” said the Director of Buying at Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

The Abercrombie & Fitch Co. buying and merchandising teams look at assortments on a global level, focusing on what’s sold online and what’s performing well in order to plan what they want to sell in a particular region. Noting differences between the U.S. and international markets, the Abercrombie & Fitch Co. regional teams emphasize understanding the competitive landscape, product seasonality and, ultimately, customer needs. “We had an opportunity to become even more customer-focused and really narrow in on who our customer is and what that target age range looks like to create more distinct brand identities for both Abercrombie & Fitch and for Hollister,“ said the VP EMEA at Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

Using the EDITED Market™ technology, the Abercrombie & Fitch team can easily compare retailers to see what’s happening across assortments, pricing and email communications. This information is crucial in planning and assortment strategies for each season.

Pricing analysis is a key metric for the Abercrombie & Fitch team and has evolved since they started working with the EDITED Market platform in 2015. “With EDITED, I’m looking at pricing and I’m looking at assortments. For example, say 20% of our competitor’s assortment are dresses. How does our assortment compare? Is there an opportunity here to adjust our ticket price?” said the VP EMEA at Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

In terms of assortment, the Abercrombie & Fitch team saw that in a key market, consumers tended to lean towards a dressier aesthetic. By using the EDITED Market assortment tool, the buying team could break down competitors’ categories in that specific market and determine the categories where the company should invest. “If we look at the number of tailored pants offered in a certain region and see the number of options offered, we can craft our long-term strategy based on if there’s an appetite for these products in the market and how we can grow that particular category,” said the Director of Buying at Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

“It’s the best way to validate the decisions that you’re making,” said Victoria Pritchard, Regional Merchant at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. “I’m making sure that everything is working both internally and externally. Having a snapshot view of what’s happening globally and at our competitors, all while comparing that to our own data and strategies is incredibly powerful.”

"Having a snapshot view of what’s happening globally and at our competitors, all while comparing that to our own data and strategies is incredibly powerful."

- Victoria Pritchard, Regional Merchant at Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

The Solution

The EDITED Market platform has over ten years of historic retail market data tracking over 4 billion products. Using EDITED Market, the Abercrombie & Fitch team can see a vast range of retailers on a global scale and easily look at brands within different markets to make sure they’re priced competitively. Comparing these differences at a granular level helps the team better understand their local customer and tailor the offering specifically to that customer.

“We use EDITED to look at promotions and price points. For example, if we’re looking at denim, what are our competitors promoting in Germany versus Italy? When are they dropping new products and what are the price points?” said James Page, Senior Regional Merchant at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. “With this type of analysis we can identify what the driving factors are behind a successful category and if there’s an opportunity to shift our own strategy.”

“We had an opportunity to become even more customer focused and really narrow in on who our customer is, and what that target age range looks like, to create more distinct brand identities for both Abercrombie & Fitch and for Hollister,“ said the VP EMEA at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. “The EDITED Market platform helps to make sure we’re offering the most trend-relevant products to our target customers globally. It’s a great tool for us to work smarter – staying reactive to changes in the market, monitoring the competition across regions, and solidifying our pricing strategies.”