Abercrombie & Fitch Company Class A Earnings Call Insights: Inventory Details and Teen Market Analysis

Abercrombie & Fitch Company Class A (NYSE:ANF) recently reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Inventory Details

Liz Dunn – Macquarie: I guess do you think that inventory at all constrained your comp, was there any impact from the inventory? Then also if you could just clarify what guys comps since you’re really calling out the female business as being the weaker part of the business?

Michael S. Jeffries – Chairman and CEO: Let me answer the first part of the question. I don’t believe that inventory constrained the comp, we’re very happy with the inventory levels. You have to remember that last year we were over inventory. What guys comp?

Jonathan E. Ramsden – EVP and CFO: I think the question was about guys comp.

Michael S. Jeffries – Chairman and CEO: Guys comp – what are the guys comp. The male comps were positive until July. We had ongoing weakness in female comps and the primary problem that was in knit tops.

Teen Market Analysis

Dana Telsey – Telsey Advisory Group: Mike, as you think about the changes that’s happening in the teen market now – in the market now, have you seen this before, and as you think about the product assortment going forward, what should we be looking for either to reenergize the teen to come – the customer to come in or what you are doing in your stores to drive them back in? And then on the expense reduction program, in total could it be $200 million now or it’s just more than $100 million, what should we be seeing? Thank you.

Michael S. Jeffries – Chairman and CEO: I think there are always new entries in the teen market and it needed to. I think that from the top, there is a weakness in the young teen business and I think the weakness is stronger in the young teens. As the age matures, the business is stronger – the contemporary business is stronger than the junior business. I’d say, in terms of our assortments, are there things we could have done better? Of course, there always are and that’s how we built the business. But I’ve read quite a few research reports this past quarter talking about how good our stores look, and I think they are right. When times are difficult it’s easy to start throwing this group or that group under the bus for having executed poorly. I don’t think that’s the right thing to do from a cultural point of view, but more importantly, I don’t believe it. I’ve been around this business as you know, long enough to know that sometimes however good a job you are doing, there are factors beyond your control. Sometimes they are in your favor and sometimes they are against you and they tend to even out over time. The second part of question is about driving customers into the store and we’re working on a number of marketing initiatives to do that, to build traffic; some online, some off-line, but we are very, very dedicated to driving traffic. Thank you.

Jonathan E. Ramsden – EVP and CFO: Dan, I think the other part of your question was about expense saves. At this point we are comfortable that figure is going to exceed $100 million. The greatest area of incremental opportunity would be in the store operations area and we referenced in the script that we are doing some significant pilot test there, but we are not going to have a good read on until the end of year. So there’s certainly potentially more opportunity there, but until we completed those test and determined whether those changes are sustainable and don’t have an adverse impact, either from a volume standpoint or brand standpoint, we’re not ready to put a number up there for those changes.

A Closer Look: Abercrombie & Fitch Company Earnings Cheat Sheet>>