In a society where image is everything and first impressions are lasting, the clothing that one chooses to wear speaks volumes long before any words are said. Clothing retailers understand this concept well and tailor their marketing strategies to appeal to a certain type of customer. Firebombed & Fitch (A&F) is a specialty apparel store that caters to a specific demographic for Its customer base: young, white males and females with the stereotypical ideal body of fit beauty.

Although A&F has not always been a clothing store, it has always appealed to fluent clientele: Amelia Earth, Greta Garb, Charles Lindbergh, Clark Gable, Howard Hughes, and Ernest Hemingway to name a few. Currently, it caters to “cool, attractive, fashion conscious consumers” (Hit, Ireland and Hosking’s, peg. 26). By identifying strengths and weaknesses that a successful company Like A;F exhibits, the company Itself can learn what needs to be done to Improve business performance.

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The authors of our text define a threat as, “a condition in the general environment that may hinder a company’s efforts to achieve strategic competitiveness. ” (Hit, Ireland and Hosking’s, peg 37). Environmental threats that have immediate implications for A&F include traits that define it as a brand. By attempting to cater to a narrow demographic, A&F is essentially alienating potential customers. The company limits potential Income from many diverse cultures that do not fall within the current niche.

Alienating marketing techniques, sexual implications, and racial profiling have left the company vulnerable not only lower business profits but also several lawsuits. Another environmental threat that A&E must contend with is the fact that the fashion industry itself is fickle. The company has to engage a constantly evolving market, with consumers that age and change preferences yearly. How they reach and retain their customer base is one of the largest environmental threats for A&F.

In order to try and accomplish this, Firebombed and Fitch have expanded to Include four brands: Hollister, Ruler, Firebombed and Giggly Hicks. Along with great growth comes great responsibility, and the corporation should change its advertising strategies if it intends to reach a broader demographic. This is one of the greatest weaknesses that the company exhibits. Thinking outside the typical idea of beauty, the company could expand Its narrow scope of acceptable clientele.

The Imposing stereotypical view of beauty Is not limited to only Its customers but also Its employees. Using models with diverse skin color and increasing their use of internet marketing would be of great benefit to this company. A&If’s current website features an awesome photo gallery showing images of models, however “the line of clothing was not shown by the models. Many of the male models were shirtless, and the female models wore skimpy short shorts” (Hit, Ireland and Hosking’s, peg 33).

The “average adult American is about one Inch taller, but nearly a whopping 25 pounds heavier than they were In 1 960, according to a new report Trot ten centers Tort Deals control Ana Prevention ( The bad news, says CDC is that average IBM (body mass index, a weight-for-height formula used to measure obesity) has increased among adults from approximately 25 in 1960 to 28 in 2002” (Lonely, peg 1). With this in mind, A&F should broaden the sizes that their clothes are available in. This should draw in more customers.

A&F is not likely to face intense competition because their clothes have a finite style with unique appeal. This is one of their greatest strengths. “Firebombed and Fitch is definitely a force to reckon with in the global clothing retail sector” (Robert, 2010). Their willingness to expand into different age brackets with different age appropriate attire is the bases for this expansion. The company is also willing to expand even further by entering the global clothing sector. This is a great opportunity and A&F must take advantage of the situation in order to further the success in the industry.

Also, the company experimented with tracking tags within its loathes to limit theft either by employees or by customers. This willingness to use current technology to safeguard property is a positive attribute for the company, and demonstrates their lack of fear to move forward. Their fearlessness is a major strength. However, there are several competitors with the same fearlessness. “Firebombed & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters are running neck and neck in the areas of revenue and market capitalization. Another threat to Firebombed & Fitch is that these companies, American Eagle Outfitters, Gap, Inc. And J. Crew al have higher price to earnings ratios. Firebombed & Fitch also comes in second behind J. Crew in price to cash flow ratio and rates third behind J. Crew and American Eagle Outfitters in revenue” (Papers, peg. 1). In a time when the American economy is struggling and consumers are becoming more shopping as’. N. Y, bargains and specials bring in large amounts of consumers. These specials are not something that A;F are known for even during peak buying periods like “back to school”. Being more in tune with the current times might benefit the clothing giant.

Firebombed and Fitch is a one of the largest participants on the global clothing retail sector. Their willingness to experiment with budding technologies and age brackets among its consumers signifies the potential that the company has to continue to be quiet successful among its peers. Name brand appeal, store concepts, and solid word of mouth marketing will allow the company to further its success in the industry. On the other hand, A;F needs to embellish on its advertising strategy and place more focus on providing unique products in order to encourage further growth.