Abercrombie and Fitch Outlet Stores, Locations, and History
How to Shop and Save at Abercrombie and Fitch Outlet Stores
Abercrombie & Fitch has been a fixture in shopping malls across the country since the 1990s, but the clothing store also has more than 25 locations at outlet malls in nearly 20 states and Canada. During its peak of popularity and profitability in the 1990s and early 2000s, Abercrombie & Fitch avoided expanding into outlet malls, but recent years have shown the company willing to pursue such discount stores as an option.
The A&F Club
Abercrombie & Fitch's A&F Club offers deals and the potential for discounts to those who sign up with an email address, and doing so can help compound the savings found at outlet stores. Every dollar club members spend earns points that translate to $10 in savings for every $250 spent. The process of signing up earns members a $20 discount on a purchase of $50 or more. Members also receive special offers on their birthdays and access to sales and events available only to members.
Members who spend the most can earn VIP status, which earns them additional points for every dollar spent and access to sales and events available only to VIP members. Points and other member-related tools and announcements can be tracked via an app available for Apple and Android phones.
Deals also apply to Abercrombie & Fitch Kids.
Known today for its trendy styles marketed to teens and young adults, the company got its start in 1892 selling sporting goods and related apparel, according to the chain's Facebook page. The company was founded by David Abercrombie, and Ezra Fitch joined as a partner in 1904, leading to the now iconic brand name, which has lasted more than a century even though Abercrombie left the company in 1907.
The company catered to outdoor enthusiasts for much of its history, according to Funding Universe, until it was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1976 before being acquired by Oshman's Sporting Goods.
The Modern Abercrombie & Fitch
The Limited Inc. acquired Abercrombie & Fitch in 1988, phasing out the sporting goods and focusing on apparel. Mike Jeffries took over as president of the company in 1992 and immediately put an emphasis on becoming a brand popular with youth. The company experienced its largest period of growth during his tenure, which lasted until 2014.
Along with the success it saw during Jeffries' oversight, Abercrombie & Fitch also dealt with its share of controversies. Perhaps most famously, Jeffries once was quoted as saying, “We hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don't market to anyone other than that.” This, along with the company's lack of plus-sized clothing at the time, caused a backlash publicly.
The company also lost a high-profile lawsuit for hiring practices that included a so-called "look policy," requiring employees to look a certain way. The company also has stopped hiring shirtless male models to work in its stores after that practice faced growing criticism.