Abercrombie & Fitch Get Real with Ruehl

What: Ruehl No.925, or just plain “Ruehl,” was meant to pick up where Abercrombie & Fitch (its creator) left off. Targeted to the 22 to 35-year-old post-college, elitest crowd, the chain just couldn’t cut it in this recession. Not many 20 somethings are shelling out $100 on a pair of jeans right now. All 29 stores, located in 15 states (primarily on the East Coast), are set shut down by January 2010.

What They Say:

Wall Street criticized Abercrombie & Fitch for taking so long to close Ruehl. Abercrombie took a $51 million impairment charge related to Ruehl in the first quarter and will have to charge off an additional $65 million over the rest of the year. Same-store sales at Ruehl fell 33 percent in May alone.

What We Say: If you live near a Ruehl store, don’t rush there for a mini shopping marathon, hoping to cash in on all kinds of pre-closing deals. Find out when it’s scheduled to shut down and then check in a few weeks and even days before. We do, however, expect some great savings around the corner – Ruehl already started slashing prices before the bad news.

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