Abercombie and Fitch Discussion

Please answer the following questions regarding the above mentioned store..

What were some of the business issues that retailers, like A&F, faced in the early and mid-1900’s? How have these issues changed over time?

A&F paid $50 million to settle three lawsuits charging it with racial discrimination. Do you think the lawsuits were justified? Did A&F’s marketing strategies which apparently insulted certain minority groups encourage a corporate culture that was intolerant of diversity? Does A&F, as well as other retailers, have the right to market itself to any ethnic group it wants? Should retailers be free to hire employees with personal appearances that match the image they are trying to project – even if it means not hiring African-Americans and Latinos?

Consumers today are following two tracks: necessity shopping when convenience and price are important and recreational shopping when an individual shops for fun. Many retailers are trying to attract the latter consumer by providing an extraordinary shopping experience. According to a retail marketing expert, Pam Danziger, stores that rock — or “pop” — have the following distinctive features:
1. High levels of customer involvement and interaction
2. A contagious, electric quality
3. An ability to evoke a shopper’s curiosity to explore and experience the space
4. Atmosphere, store design and merchandise that contribute to a comprehensive vision with tangible and intangible elements
5. Do you think that A&F has implemented these features in its stores? Why or why not? Can you identify other retailers who are using emotional branding or appealing to the “experiential” buyer?
6. Do you think that A&F has implemented these features in its stores? Why or why not? Can you identify other retailers who are using emotional branding or appealing to the “experiential” buyer?

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