Less Is More, Retail CFOs Find As They Plot Post-Pandemic Strategy

Finance chiefs at apparel retailers are working to reduce inventory levels, lower rent payments and rely less on promotions in an effort to increase profitability. Clothing chains including American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. , which primarily target teenagers and young adults, are adjusting their business models after a year in which many of their stores were temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Online sales as a proportion of revenue continue to grow, which reduces the need to hold as much inventory and operate as many stores as before the pandemic. “We learned we can run this business with less,” said Scott Lipesky, chief financial officer of New Albany, Ohio-based Abercrombie. “You have much better margins,” he said, adding that Abercrombie wants to keep operating with less stock. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.