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Abercrombie Sees Smaller-Than-Expected Decline in Q4 Sales

The teen retailer also said it expected holiday-quarter gross profit rate to be up significantly from last year due to less discounting.
Abercrombie & Fitch Lookbook. Abercrombie & Fitch.

Apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co on Monday forecast holiday-quarter net sales to decline between 5 percent and 7 percent, as strong online demand was not enough to cushion the blow from temporary store closures and Covid-19 restrictions.

The company, which owns the Hollister apparel brand, had previously estimated net sales to decline between 5 percent and 10 percent for the quarter, with analysts expecting a 5.5 percent fall, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Abercrombie also said it expected fourth-quarter gross profit rate to be up at least 130 basis points, compared to last year’s 58.2 percent, as it discounted less.

Online demand for activewear and loungewear has soared since the start of the lockdowns, but in-store sales have taken a hit as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in North America and major European markets forced governments to reintroduce certain restrictions.

Abercrombie’s shares rose about 1 percent to $23.34 in extended trading.

By Praveen Paramasivam; editors: Amy Caren Daniel and Shounak Dasgupta.

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