Abercrombie & Fitch's longtime CEO Michael Jeffries is retiring, effective immediately, as the once-hip teen clothing chain's sales decline. Jeffries is also retiring from the retailer's board of directors. He has served as CEO since February 1992, according to CapitalIQ. "I believe now is the right time for new leadership to take the company forward in the next phase of its development," Jeffries said in a statement.
We've ranked some of the lowest-paying companies based on hourly wages. The data comes from Glassdoor, a jobs and career community website. Of the 58 fashion retailers Glassdoor reviewed, Pacific Sunwear had the lowest hourly wages at $7.62, followed by Abercrombie & Fitch ($7.69) and Foot Locker ($7.71). For the purposes of the report, the data excludes salary information for managerial positions. The average hourly wages for the 10 lowest-paying retailers on our list was $7.80, which is $2.28 lower than the industry average for cashiers and salespeople, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Muslim teen worker who scored a legal victory in an anti-discrimination suit against Abercrombie & Fitch, which cited its dress code in insisting she not wear a hijab to work, says the retailer's policy is "very unfair." A federal judge issued the ruling last week that Abercrombie & Fitch discriminated against Hani Khan, 18, when she was fired from its Hollister store in San Mateo, Calif., in 2010 because she refused to remove her head scarf on the job. Khan says she was approached by her manager after four months on the job.
Despite cautionary spending last year, retailers may have good reason to be optimistic in 2013: Consumers are trying more fashion retailers for the first time, and most are making purchases during those visits. According to a study by Market Force Information, a provider of customer intelligence solutions, four in 10 (39 percent) consumers surveyed reported trying a new fashion retailer over the past 90 days, a 22 percent gain from 2011 and a 179 percent increase from 2010, when just 14 percent of consumers said they'd tried a new retailer.
Teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch said Friday it plans to close 40 to 50 of its U.S. stores this year as the company's shares took a nosedive following lukewarm sales over the holiday shopping season, a crucial time for retail chains. Comparable store sales at Abercrombie's U.S. stores fell 1 percent in the fourth quarter, furthering previous declines in the company's selling power.
About 40 people marched on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue on Wednesday, stopping in front of retailers such as Uniqlo and Abercrombie & Fitch. A union executive said salespeople are treated like day laborers rather than employees. For retail workers, "underemployment" is a bigger problem than unemployment, according to a worker advocacy group that is organizing retail workersto protest "on call" scheduling and policies that allow them to work only one or two shifts per week.