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Abercrombie & Fitch Reported Its Highest First Quarter in Company History. Here's How It Made a Comeback. Quarterly revenue was up over 22% from the same time last year.

By Emily Rella

Abercrombie & Fitch continues to be a strong comeback story as the retailer just posted the highest first-quarter earnings in company history.

During a Q1 2024 earnings call this week, Abercrombie & Fitch reported a 22% year-over-year increase in sales, finishing the quarter at $1.02 billion compared to $836 million at the same time last year. Operating income exceeded $131 million, also a record high for the company.

"Our outstanding first quarter results reflect the power of our brands and strong execution of our global playbook," said CEO Fran Horowitz in an earnings release. "We successfully navigated seasonal transitions with relevant assortments and compelling marketing, leveraging agile chase capabilities and inventory discipline, driving sales above our expectations."

Related: Abercrombie & Fitch Reports Strong Earnings, Stock Soars

The company also increased its full-year revenue outlook to "around 10%" and its operating margin outlook to nearly 14%.

At its height in the '90s and aughts, sales were in the billions, but popularity soon waned and employee complaints began piling up. Netflix covered the controversies in the 2022 documentary, "White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch," which exposed the company's past scandals and accusations of exclusionary practices under former CEO Mike Jefferies.

But after a strong past few years since 2017 under Horowitz's leadership, the company has turned things around. Horowitz credited the company's ability to define what each of the company's "brands stands for and the customers they serve" by honing in on each brand's specific voice and inventory that aligns with that. The brand umbrella includes Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrombie Kids, Hollister, and Gilly Hicks Active.

"Both brand families are contributing nicely to our business results while expanding our customer base through increased marketing spend and improved omnichannel customer experience," Horowitz said on the earnings call. "These are simply outstanding results, adding yet another proof point of our global team's ability to execute at the highest standard. Always looking forward, we are laser-focused on showing continued growth through 2024."

Abercrombie also touted the success of launching "The Wedding Shop" during Q1, which Horowitz described as a "curated set of dresses and other apparel to outfit out customers for bachelorette parties to honeymoons to the big day itself."

"We led The Wedding Shop with a mix of styles, including new fashion items, while also showcasing product that has performed and grown over several seasons," Horowitz said. "I'm excited by the continued opportunities for The Wedding Shop as we approach peak wedding season this summer and into the fall."

The company also removed its infamous moose logo in 2014, which signaled a new era for the brand long identified by its loud logo printing and branding.

Related: Abercrombie & Fitch Holiday Sales Rise After Rebrand

As of Wednesday morning, Abercrombie & Fitch was up an 18% in a 24-hour period.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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