The beautiful people, the beautiful people! When was the last time you heard about customers paying for a company's catalog?
After years of stagnating same-store sales, Abercrombie & Fitch
The company stopped the catalog in 2003, after complaints about its sexually suggestive images. Now, A&F is asking $10 for preorders of the catalog, which will be available July 17th.
For years, A&F has played itself as the store for the beautiful people, even as its results of the last few years have been anything but pretty. The purveyor of high-priced chic had stubbornly refused to lower prices, and sales stalled, even as lower-priced rivals such as Aeropostale
Can the catalog help revitalize the company's operations? Certainly, returning to the glory years with a strategy that seemed to provide A&F a magnetic attraction shows some promise. But all the sexy imagery in the world won't coax purchases if they're not affordable. And with the economy teetering on the edge, discretionary retailers -- high-priced and low-priced alike -- hardly look like safe investments.