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Abercrombie & Fitch's half-naked models aren't working as well as they used to. Though the brand's famous torsos boosted sales from 1995 through 2008, the store shuttered 71 US stores last year and have announced they'll be closing another 180 between now and 2015. So where did all the shirtless magic go?
BusinessWeek talked to several brand consultants, who concluded that today's teens are "radically different" from other generations for a couple of reasons. For one, they have more cheap fashion-forward options, thanks to stores like Forever 21 and H&M. Also, they've developed a more individual style from exposure to fashion via the Web and social media. Marcie Merriman, former director of brand planning and strategy for Victoria's Secret, told the publication that Abercrombie is "positioned well to take advantage of this group's desire to be rebellious and indie and different, because that's what the brand is about," she says. "But right now the product mix doesn't communicate that or facilitate it." Rest assured, however, that even if Abercrombie takes away the torsos, we'll always have this.
· At Abercrombie & Fitch, Sex No Longer Sells [BusinessWeek]
· It's Not Really Summer Until Half-Naked Abercrombie Employees Lip Sync "Call Me Maybe" [Racked]
· Masturbating Model Sues Abercrombie & Fitch [Racked]