How Abercrombie is failing in Japan

Excellent piece in BoF re: Abercrombie’s attempt to launch in Japan. Marx goes over all the key areas (so many!) where Abercrombie is failing in Japan.

TOKYO, Japan — After several years of “will they or won’t they” speculation, American casual fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch finally opened its first retail store in Japan this past December. The 11-story shop in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza neighbourhood is just steps away from Uniqlo’s flagship store and Swedish fast fashion brand H&M.

As with every big retail opening in Tokyo, the first day of sales saw long lines of customers and swift business. The rumoured haul: ¥50 million (or about $550,000). Even without the benefit of an opening party or major press event, Abercrombie was able to rely on a small group of Japanese fans who had previously bought the brand’s products as souvenirs on trips to Hawaii or the continental United States.

But the big question is, will Abercrombie be able to win over new fans in Japan and replicate the unbelievably successful Japanese market entries of other mass fashion brands?
So far, the signs do not look good.

The Business of Fashion | In Tokyo, Abercrombie Misses Its Mark