Abercrombie & Fitch decided to get dressed.
The company announced it will no longer use shirtless models to promote products and will do away with sexual marketing images.
In a press release on April 24, Abercrombie & Fitch stated, “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.” Abercrombie will turn up the store lights, turn down the music and will change the name of its employees from models to “brand representatives.”
Abercrombie also announced new guidelines for its employees, calling for them to be “neat, clean, natural and well-groomed.” The company will no longer hire employees based on body type or physical attractiveness. It has revoked its “look policy” and has instead adopted a dress code that “places fewer restrictions on associates.”
Jason Facer, a junior from Santa Maria, California, studying facility and property management, said he felt the new changes would make Abercrombie more approachable.
“I always feel intimidated when I see shirtless models, and I feel like this move will be better for their image,” Facer said. “One of the reasons I stopped shopping there is because it was a high school fad, but I think by them making these changes they will bring more of a college theme to the store.”
The changes come after Abercrombie hired new brand manager Christos Angelides and after the retirement of CEO Mike Jeffries, last December. The once-popular brand has struggled to remain relevant in recent years; sales dropped by 10 percent in the last fiscal year. The company expects that by making these changes it “will make the company a stronger and more nimble competitor.”
Jennifer Dukes, a junior from Katy, Texas, studying communication disorders, worked at Abercrombie for a year while in high school. “I didn’t have the best experience there,” Dukes said. “I remember we had to wear certain seasonal outfits, and they would have us dress a certain way.”
Dukes said she thinks the changes will make the work environment better and improve customers’ opinions of the store.
“I think it will give them a little more class,” Dukes said. “A lot of people would talk down about Abercrombie when I worked there, but I think they will be respected for these changes.”