Abercrombie misses holiday-quarter sales estimates on omicron, supply chain hit

Abercrombie & Fitch bags held by shoppers

Benoit Tessier | AP

Clothes retailer Abercrombie & Fitch missed quarterly sales estimates on Wednesday with product shortages and omicron-driven Covid-19 curbs taking the shine off holiday-season business, sending shares down 7%.

Sales at Abercrombie were weaker than expected as factory closures in Vietnam and shipping delays resulted in product shortages during the peak shopping period, with the retailer struggling to get important seasonal items such as outerwear.

Abercrombie was also hit by renewed pandemic-related restrictions in parts of the world due to a surge in the omicron variant at the end of the year, forcing the company to cut down on operating hours at its outlets.

The Ohio-based company’s net sales rose to $1.16 billion in the fourth quarter from $1.12 billion a year earlier, but missed analysts’ estimates of $1.18 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net income attributable to Abercrombie declined to $65.5 million, or $1.12 per share, from $82.4 million, or $1.27 per share, a year earlier.

Teen apparel peer Urban Outfitters also saw a fall in store traffic before Christmas, while American Eagle Outfitters has signaled a hit to holiday sales due to supply chain snarls and omicron-driven disruptions.

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