Abercrombie is planning to close up to 40 stores in 2019

on Mar6
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Customers exit an Abercrombie & Fitch store in San Francisco, California.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Customers exit an Abercrombie & Fitch store in San Francisco, California.

Abercrombie & Fitch said Wednesday it plans to close up to 40 stores by next February, with the majority of closures slated in the U.S.

Abercrombie joins a number of other retailers like Victoria’s Secret and Gap announcing a fresh round of store closures. In the first two months of this year, retailers announced 4,300 store closures, according to a note from Coresight Research.

Abercrombie, which also owns Hollister, has been staging a comeback after losing its foothold as a teen staple clothing brand. Over the last eight years, Abercrombie has shuttered about 475 stores. The company has also been reducing the size of its stores and remodeling existing locations.

In fiscal 2018, the teen retailer closed 29 stores, which contributed to a 2 percent decline across the company in total square footage.

CEO Fran Horowitz-Bonadies told analysts on the conference call that the company is “carefully evaluating closed stores when appropriate.” More closures could be ahead as roughly 50 percent of its leases expire within the next few years.

Shares of Abercrombie skyrocketed by about 20 percent Wednesday after it beat Wall Street estimates for earnings and reported strong same-store sales growth. During its fiscal fourth quarter ending Feb. 2, the company earned $1.35 per share. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting earnings of $1.15 per share. It also reported same-store sales growth of 3 percent, beating Wall Street’s forecasts of 1.5 percent.



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