Abercrombie announces global store closures on coronavirus precautions
American fashion company Abercombie & Fitch on Sunday said stores closures are now in place across the U.S. and inside foreign markets outside the Asia-Pacific region, as the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, prompting to retailers to ramp up precautions.
The New Albany, Ohio-based Abercrombie & Fitch said it is closing all company stores, including its Hollister branded stores, outside of the APAC region, effective March 15 in North America and March 16 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The stores closures are set to last two weeks, taking place until March 28. Stores in Abercrombie’s APAC market will continue to operate as normal, as will the company’s online store, according to a press release.
“The decision to close all our stores outside of the APAC region has been done with a focus on the wellbeing of our associates, our customers, our partners, and our communities, and it is in keeping with our commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen,” said Fran Horowitz, chief executive officer of Abercrombie & Fitch.
“Based on the significant investments we have made over the past several years in our people and our IT infrastructure, we have a robust digital business. We believe that our current capabilities will allow us to continue to fulfill our customers’ needs during this unprecedented period of uncertainty.”
The company also withdrew its first-quarter and full-year 2020 outlook issued on March 4, adding that it still predicts “material adverse impacts,” without providing an updated outlook.
The move comes after retailers like Nike, Lululemon and Urban Outfitters announced they would be temporarily closing all North American and European stores for a short period.
At the time of its most recent reporting, Abercrombie said its fourth-quarter net sales rose 2.5% to $1.18 billion, beating estimates of $1.17 billion.
Net income attributable to the company dropped to $83.1 million, or $1.29 per share, from $96.94 million, or $1.42 per share, a year earlier, it said.
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