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Abercrombie & Fitch names merchandising head as CEO

Reuters

(Reuters) - Abercrombie & Fitch Co <ANF.N>, which is struggling with a relentless decline in sales, said Fran Horowitz, its merchandising head, had been promoted to chief executive of the teen apparel retailer.

Horowitz replaces Michael Jeffries, who stepped down in 2014 after over two decades at the helm.

The company suspended its search for a new head in 2015, while a team led by Executive Chairman Arthur Martinez managed day-to-day operations.

Horowitz moved from the company's Hollister brand to take on the newly created role of chief merchandising officer in late 2015, as Abercrombie sought to make its apparel more attractive to teens.

Abercrombie's sales have fallen for 15 straight quarters as it struggles to keep pace with tastes of teen shoppers, who are increasingly opting to shop at "fast-fashion" chains such as H&M <HMb.ST>, Inditex's <ITX.MC> Zara and Forever 21.

To win back shoppers, Abercrombie is investing heavily in its online business and is closing underperforming stores. It has also hired designers from top brands to keep its trends fresh and is selling fewer of its once popular logo-centric designs.

Abercrombie said Chief Financial Officer Joanne Crevoiserat has been given the additional responsibilities of chief operating officer.

(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

 

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