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Retailers Must Adapt to Changing Trends and Consumer Sentiments

If there is one static rule of fashion, it’s that fashion will change from one decade to the next. As consumer preferences evolve, it’s crucial that retailers adapt.

One major retailer that has struggled to keep up with changing times is Abercrombie & Fitch. Earlier this year, the brand was labeled the most hated retailer in America by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Fortune reported.

Low Grades

The ACSI considered responses from about 9,400 consumers to determine scores. The average score for specialty retail is 77 points on a 100-point scale. Abercrombie & Fitch scored the lowest grade, coming in at 65.

“The low score shows that customers do not perceive the quality of the merchandise or customer service to be very high, A&F has the dubious distinction of being the lowest scoring retailer ever on ACSI,” wrote an ACSI representative to Fortune in an email.

The retailer has had a trying few years. Between losing its CEO in 2014 and suffering 13 consecutive quarters of falling sales, the store has known for some time that it needs to revamp its image if it is going to improve in the view of consumers.

Image Change

So, Abercrombie has begun to do what it must: change its look and message. Retail Dive reported the retailer is now focusing more on inclusion, diversity and product quality, and less on logo-centric designs, the signature darkness of its stores and suggestive advertising campaigns. It also stated that it is now trying to market to a slightly older demographic, with advertisements geared toward consumers 18-25 years old.

It may be too soon to tell how these strategies will pan out. Arthur Martinez, a chairman for the company, told Business Insider that improving consumer sentiment will be a process that could take some time.

“This is a journey,” he said in May, according to Business Insider. “There won’t be an ‘a ha!’ moment where we pull the covers off something and say, ‘here’s the silver bullet answer.’ Research tells us that there is a longing for the Abercrombie brand to become ‘my’ brand again.”

As Abercrombie & Fitch locations begin to incorporate the brand’s new appearance, change may be necessary. Altering the layout of a store can take time, and swapping outdated apparel for new inventory needs to be done in an organized manner. Retail storage can be a big help in these instances.

Mobile Mini’s portable storage for retail solutions can help store managers house inventory until it’s ready to go on the shelf, store old inventory that hasn’t been allocated a new home, or hold furniture and props that need to be moved around or swapped.