Arts and Theatre
Abercrombie and Fitch used to be the ‘big’ mall destination for teens and college kids who wanted to look hip. But all that may be over.
Sales are plummeting at the store and people are turning to their competitors such as H&M and American Apparel.
This spring, spending by teenagers, a closely studied but rarely understood segment of the population, is off by 14 percent, a direct reflection of the economy, according to a report this month by the investment bank Piper Jaffray. And that is having a profound effect on an already unraveling mall culture, where deep discounters and stores known for heavy promotions are suddenly the popular destinations and aspirational brands are struggling to fit in.
Teenagers are noticing. “Labels are becoming less and less of a priority for people throughout my school,” said Chelsea Orcutt, 17, a senior at the Mount Saint Mary Academy near Buffalo, where the Walden Galleria shopping center includes all of the above-mentioned stores, plus many more options for teenagers who favor a sunny West Coast surfer style or those who prefer a goth ensemble to highlight their black nail polish and lipstick. Ms. Orcutt, a bit less casual in her personal style, favors Macy’s, Old Navy and American Eagle, which, she pointed out, keep teen budgets in mind.