February 5, 2010, 12:00 AM

Abercrombie’s web sales took a tumble in 2009

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. posted only slightly higher web sales in the fourth quarter, but e-commerce revenue also declined in 2009 by 8.4%. The web accounted for 8.7% of total sales last year.

Lead Photo

It was a tough year online for Abercrombie & Fitch Co. in 2009.

Abercrombie will report its full year-end earnings on Feb. 16. But Abercrombie & Fitch, No. 58 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide (a PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be ordered by clicking on its name), did include several updates in its newly released January sales report including:

  • Web sales in the fourth quarter increased about 0.1% to about $95.6 million, essentially the same as in the fourth quarter of 2008.
  • Total sales in the fourth quarter decreased 4.7% to $951.0 million from $998.0 million in Q4 of 2008.
  • The web accounted for 10.1% of all sales in the fourth quarter compared with 9.5% in the prior year.
  • Comparable-store sales declined 13.0%.

For the full year, Abercrombie also reported:

  • Web sales decreased 8.4% to $249.4 million from $271.0 million in 2008.
  • Total sales decreased 15.8% to $2.98 billion from $3.54 billion in 2008.
  • The web accounted for 8.7% of all sales in 2009 compared with 7.7% in the prior year.
  • Comparable-store sales declined 23.0%

Although web sales declined in 2009, Abercrombie & Fitch continues to invest in new Internet and mobile commerce technology. In January, Abercrombie & Fitch rolled out both an m-commerce site and mobile app.


The m-commerce site is fully transactional, allowing consumers to browse and buy products. The site opens with a hero shot of its famously sexy models and options to select men’s or women’s product lines. A store locator that integrates with a phone’s GPS system also appears on the home page. From there, shoppers are presented with a page containing a long list of specific products from which they can drill down to a product they’re looking for.

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