Bedbugs? Bedbugs in Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch have caused two New York City stores to close until the bedbug infestation is under control. How did bedbugs get in the store? What is Abercrombie & Fitch doing about the problem? What is the City of New York doing about the situation? How will this affect future sales and profitability of Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister stores?
The Epic Hollister store in SoHo was the first store to have a problem with infestation. The SoHo location has taken care of the bedbug problem, and the store reopened Saturday, July 3rd, at 10:00am. Friday, July 2nd, The Company closed its Abercrombie & Fitch South Street Seaport store to handle a similar problem, and will reopen when the infestation is eradicated. The Company’s Abercrombie & Fitch Fifth Avenue store has been tested and is claimed to be bedbug free.
Abercrombie & Fitch have asked the New York City Mayor’s office for guidance on the how the stores in Manhattan should handle this situation.
In a press release from Abercrombie & Fitch Headquarters in New Albany, OH, it’s stated that “The Company’s first priority continues to be its customers and associates.”
In a letter to the Mayor’s Office addressed directly to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Chairman and CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Michael S. Jeffries states that he is “very concerned about the growing infestation of bedbugs in New York City.” Michael S. Jeffries also states that The Company is “willing to be a part of any coalition to address the issue.”
The letter to Mayor Bloomberg also mentions that Abercrombie & Fitch has suffered real revenue loss involved in the their decision to close the two stores, but once again states that the Company feels the closing is in the best interest of the customers.
There are no real answers as why there is a bedbug problem in New York City, but it is apparent there is an infestation. What is the City of New York going to do about this infestation? The question is what they can do about it?
If Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister continue to display it’s commitment to doing what’s right by putting its customers first, this bedbug situation should not affect their long-term profitability. Consumers want to shop in stores where they know they are put first before profits. Customers want to be confident in the brands they consume, and they want to know that any quality control issues are handled promptly and completely.
Abercrombie & Fitch may suffer from slow sales for a brief period, until the situation dies down, but over all profitability should not suffer. By putting people over profits, it appears that Abercrombie & Fitch have taken measures to ensure the continuance of the brand.