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Abercrombie Will Keep Fifth Avenue Flagship Open One More Year

The retailer previously planned to close the store in mid-year 2020 and move operations a few blocks south.

(Bloomberg)—Abercrombie & Fitch will stay at its flagship store on Fifth Avenue at least a year later than planned, according to its chief executive officer.

The preppy teen retailer, which saw a sales boost in its most recent quarter, had previously planned to shutter the store around the middle of this year and move its operations a few blocks south on Fifth Avenue to its Hollister location.

The extended stay in its current store, now through mid-2021, was made possible through “a short-term lease opportunity that was mutually opportunistic for the landlord and for ourselves,” Fran Horowitz, chief executive officer of Abercrombie, said in an interview.

Abercrombie is shifting away from most of its flagship locations. And Fifth Avenue has experienced higher vacancy rates as shoppers continue to migrate to online sites. But Abercrombie still sees its value.

“It’s been challenging what’s happening on Fifth Avenue but there is still traffic on Fifth Avenue and we certainly want to be where those opportunities are,” Horowitz said.

And Abercrombie’s bigger store has been a useful part of the company’s digital services, such as online order pickup, Chief Financial Officer Scott Lipesky said.

“It’s good for us to delay these closures a bit and exit on good financial terms,” he said, “and then figure out how we fill out the blanks in the city.”

Abercrombie shares rose as much as 10% after reporting in quarterly results that sales in its namesake stores topped analysts’ estimates.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jordyn Holman in New York at [email protected].

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anne Cronin at [email protected]

Sally Bakewell

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

TAGS: Leasing
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