NEW YORK — The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded.
Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. tumbled Thursday after reporting weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere.
The company is trying to stock trendier clothing — and it turns out that means stripping off the once-prized Abercrombie logo.
It is a major change for the retailer, whose sweatshirts and T-shirts emblazoned with its name long held major cachet with teenagers. Now, individuality is the name of the game.
''Personal style, specifically with teens, is becoming less about fitting in and more about standing out,'' said Lauren Wolfenden, a senior advisory analyst at WGSN, a fashion trend consultancy. ''A&F has wised up to this by phasing out the cookie-cutter logo-ed product look and bringing in trendy pieces that can be worn in a multitude of different ways.''
A&F and other traditional teen stores have to adapt in a battle to turn their businesses around as mall traffic drops and shoppers' tastes change.
A slowly recovering economy is making parents and teens think twice about splurging on clothes. Expensive standbys, including Abercrombie, also have lost business to chains such as H&M, known for quickly churning out trendy $9 tops.
Teens are spending less time at the mall and more time researching and buying on mobile devices.
Mike Jeffries, A&F's chief executive, said in a statement the retailer has made progress in stocking trendier clothing. Also, the retailer has been shortening the time from developing a design to shipping the clothing to the stores. It's also changing its color palette.
Wolfenden said Abercrombie earlier this year revealed it would start using black in its collections, something it had not done before. She praised some of its current fashions, which include Aztec-printed silky pants, sleek maxi-dresses, and slouchy T-shirts with scenic images and French sayings.
But the big change, of course, are clothes that don't shout the Abercrombie name.
For the fall season, A&F has reduced its logoed merchandise by half. ''In the spring season, we are looking to take the North American logo business to practically nothing,'' Jeffries told investors.
A&F said it earned $12.9 million, or 17 cents in its fiscal second quarter. That compares with $11.3 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier. The New Albany, Ohio, retailer reported that revenue fell 5.8 percent to $890.6 million, short of analyst estimates.
A&F's shares fell nearly 5 percent, or $2.13, to close at $41.87.