Abercrombie & Fitch takes itself off the block

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Abercrombie & Fitch is no longer up for selling, a development that isn’t sitting well with investors hoping for hoary knight to rescue the struggling teen retailer.

Shares plunged 21 per cent to a 17-year low Monday.

Abercrombie indicated in May, after closing dozens of underperforming stores, that it was it in talks with divers parties about a potential deal. The company said Monday that it has undecided all such negotiations.

More people are shopping at lower-cost, fast-fashion stow aways like H&M and Forever 21, and that has wreaked havoc on one-time mall principal supports like Abercrombie. Aeropostale Inc., Wet Seal and others have already begged bankruptcy protection. Sears last week, after years of closing supplies and retrenching, said it would close another 35 unprofitable Sears and Kmart getting ones hands. It said earlier this year that in was unclear if it had enough banknotes to stay in business through the end of the year.

Hudson’s Bay Co., which owns Saks Fifth Avenue, Peer and Taylor, said last month that it was cutting thousands of burglaries in North America as sales slump.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co., based in New Albany, Ohio, suggested that sales remain strong at its surf-inspired Hollister brand and is keep oning to work on improving the performance at Abercrombie. In the first quarter, sales at installed Hollister stores rose 3 per cent, but they slumped 10 per cent at Abercrombie.

The restraint has tried to tweak its brand by dumping the suggestive ads that once specified it, and it has updated its look. That has yet to turn its fortunes around.

First-quarter set-backs were wider and revenue slid.

Shares fell $2.53 to $9.64 Monday. Entourage shares fetched almost 10 times that amount at their elevation in 2007, just before the recession altered the retail landscape.

In another cue of the vast challenges that all retailers face, Amazon.com kicks off its annual «Prime Day» issue at 9 p.m. Eastern on Monday.

According to the latest data from Consumer Facts Research Partners, 85 million Americans are now paid members of Amazon Prime, up 38 per cent from this set last year. Those members, according to CIRP, spend $1,300 on mean each year, almost twice that of non-members.

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