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We went shopping at Hollister and saw how it could be Abercrombie’s secret weapon (ANF) – Strategy – Pulselive.co.ke

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  • Abercrombie & Fitch has made some major changes in the past few years while its sister store, Hollister, has performed consistently well.
  • In the second quarter, comparable sales were up 2% at Abercrombie’s namesake store and 4% at Hollister, according to a company press release. It was the seventh consecutive quarter of growth for the Hollister brand.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Fran Horowitz said in an August earnings call that Hollister has been successful because of its product assortment and marketing strategy.
  • We paid a visit to a Hollister store in New York City and saw that it hasn’t changed much over the years while its sister brand, Abercrombie, has worked to reinvent itself.

While Abercrombie & Fitch has had to make some major changes to its brand over the past few years, its sister brand Hollister has been doing relatively well.

Hollister is generally priced lower than Abercrombie and tends to support it similarly to how Old Navy supports Gap. It’s meant to appeal to a younger crowd of shoppers and has a California-inspired theme. In the second quarter, comparable sales were up 2% at Abercrombie and 4% at Hollister, according to a company press release. It was the seventh consecutive quarter of growth for the Hollister brand.

In its August earnings call, the company discussed plans to open 22 new stores in 2018, 13 of which would be Hollister stores. Last year, it remodeled 35 Hollister stores. But according to Retail Dive, the company as a whole has closed 400 stores since 2010, and it may close as many as 60 this year.

Though Hollister hasn’t vowed to make the same drastic changes its sister brand Abercrombie has, it has been quietly working on improving its stores and marketing strategy, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Fran Horowitz said in the earnings call. Most recently, Hollister launched a campaign featuring Khalid and Noah Cyrus.

On a recent trip to a Hollister store in New York City, we noticed that many products bore a huge logo — a design feature that Abercrombie has been criticized for in the past.

Here’s what else we found when we visited Hollister:

We went to the Hollister store in Soho. Outside was a clearance sale sign advertising $29 hoodies and $20 jeans.


play

We went to the Hollister store in Soho. Outside was a clearance sale sign advertising $29 hoodies and $20 jeans.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

Also in the entryway was a sign advertising Hollister’s “click & collect” program, which allows customers to shop online and pick up in store.


Also in the entryway was a sign advertising Hollister's play

Also in the entryway was a sign advertising Hollister’s “click & collect” program, which allows customers to shop online and pick up in store.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

I noticed right away how many deals and promotions there were. Most things were on sale in some capacity. A sign advertised that if you spend $75 or more, you could get a free Hollister blanket.


I noticed right away how many deals and promotions there were. Most things were on sale in some capacity. A sign advertised that if you spend $75 or more, you could get a free Hollister blanket.play

I noticed right away how many deals and promotions there were. Most things were on sale in some capacity. A sign advertised that if you spend $75 or more, you could get a free Hollister blanket.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

Even though Abercrombie stores have evolved to be brighter and quieter, Hollister was still pretty dark on the inside, and the distinct smell of cologne still lingered. It didn’t seem to have changed a ton in the past few years.


Even though Abercrombie stores have evolved to be brighter and quieter, Hollister was still pretty dark on the inside, and the distinct smell of cologne still lingered. It didn't seem to have changed a ton in the past few years.play

Even though Abercrombie stores have evolved to be brighter and quieter, Hollister was still pretty dark on the inside, and the distinct smell of cologne still lingered. It didn’t seem to have changed a ton in the past few years.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

Source: Business Insider

The employees at the store, though very helpful, were overwhelming. In each section of the store I walked towards, I was repeatedly asked if I needed help.


The employees at the store, though very helpful, were overwhelming. In each section of the store I walked towards, I was repeatedly asked if I needed help.play

The employees at the store, though very helpful, were overwhelming. In each section of the store I walked towards, I was repeatedly asked if I needed help.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

The store is generally less expensive than its sister store Abercrombie. Everything cost $10-20 less than at Abercrombie, even though the products seemed to be very similar.


The store is generally less expensive than its sister store Abercrombie. Everything cost $10-20 less than at Abercrombie, even though the products seemed to be very similar.play

The store is generally less expensive than its sister store Abercrombie. Everything cost $10-20 less than at Abercrombie, even though the products seemed to be very similar.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

There were $20 fleece sweatpants …


There were $20 fleece sweatpants ...play

There were $20 fleece sweatpants …

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

… $20 sweaters …


... $20 sweaters ...play

… $20 sweaters …

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

… and denim that was buy one, get one 50% off. There were a ton of different denim options organized by style and size.


... and denim that was buy one, get one 50% off. There were a ton of different denim options organized by style and size.play

… and denim that was buy one, get one 50% off. There were a ton of different denim options organized by style and size.

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(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

There was also a collection from a campaign with Noah Cyrus. The styles were very simple, and everything was pretty high-quality for the price.


There was also a collection from a campaign with Noah Cyrus. The styles were very simple, and everything was pretty high-quality for the price.play

There was also a collection from a campaign with Noah Cyrus. The styles were very simple, and everything was pretty high-quality for the price.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

There were still some summer clothes on display, but they were in the back of the store.


There were still some summer clothes on display, but they were in the back of the store.play

There were still some summer clothes on display, but they were in the back of the store.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

The store was divided up into smaller rooms. It seemed like there was another one around every corner. Some of the rooms had hoodies, some sold accessories, some held T-shirts — there was no obvious method to how it was organized. But, within each room, everything was well-organized by size.


The store was divided up into smaller rooms. It seemed like there was another one around every corner. Some of the rooms had hoodies, some sold accessories, some held T-shirts — there was no obvious method to how it was organized. But, within each room, everything was well-organized by size.play

The store was divided up into smaller rooms. It seemed like there was another one around every corner. Some of the rooms had hoodies, some sold accessories, some held T-shirts — there was no obvious method to how it was organized. But, within each room, everything was well-organized by size.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

The lower level of the store didn’t seem to be selling anything drastically different from the upper level. It definitely got repetitive walking through the store.


play

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

Logos were very common. About half of the products in the store had “Hollister” written in big letters across it, or they had a big logo on the front. Having too many logos was a common complaint from Abercrombie shoppers in the past.


Logos were very common. About half of the products in the store had play

Logos were very common. About half of the products in the store had “Hollister” written in big letters across it, or they had a big logo on the front. Having too many logos was a common complaint from Abercrombie shoppers in the past.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

There were a few more sales downstairs …


There were a few more sales downstairs ...play

There were a few more sales downstairs …

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

… along with backpacks and other random accessories.


... along with backpacks and other random accessories.play

… along with backpacks and other random accessories.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

About half of the lower level was a massive clearance section where most products cost under $20. There were a lot of deals throughout the store.


About half of the lower level was a massive clearance section where most products cost under $20. There were a lot of deals throughout the store.play

About half of the lower level was a massive clearance section where most products cost under $20. There were a lot of deals throughout the store.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)

All in all, Hollister had a lot of products that were similar to what is usually stocked in its sister store, Abercrombie, but at lower prices. It was a mostly pleasant shopping experience, and even though Hollister hasn’t changed drastically, it is still likely Abercrombie’s biggest strength.


All in all, Hollister had a lot of products that were similar to what is usually stocked in its sister store, Abercrombie, but at lower prices. It was a mostly pleasant shopping experience, and even though Hollister hasn't changed drastically, it is still likely Abercrombie's biggest strength.play

All in all, Hollister had a lot of products that were similar to what is usually stocked in its sister store, Abercrombie, but at lower prices. It was a mostly pleasant shopping experience, and even though Hollister hasn’t changed drastically, it is still likely Abercrombie’s biggest strength.

(Business Insider/Jessica Tyler)



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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

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