Logos are the downfall of some of the most iconic preppy clothing brands, analyst says

Business Insider/Jessica TylerLogo mania at Gap.
  • Flashy logos are back in fashion but preppy brands such as Gap and Abercrombie should beware, one retail analyst said.
  • Logos can have a short shelf life. If a brand stops being seen as trendy, shoppers no longer see the value in their logos and they spend elsewhere.

Flashy logos are back in fashion but preppy brands should beware, according to one retail analyst.

In a note to clients on Friday – following the news of Gap Inc’s decision to split into two companies and close 230 stores – Maureen Hinton, global retail research director for GlobalData, shared her thoughts on why the Gap brand is struggling.

“While Gap started the fashion trend for the US preppy style casual brands, others, such as Abercrombie & Fitch … have since taken over as the latest must-have logo brand. But their popularity is short. Ubiquity kills them off and fickle fashion followers move on to a new brand,” she said.

She continued: These brands “have a short spell in the fashion sun, around three years, generating strong growth, then they wilt and have to evolve into a brand that can offer more than just a logo to bring in customers.”

If the brand stops being seen as trendy, shoppers no longer see the value in their buying their logo-ed clothing and they spend elsewhere, usually at the more affordable logoless brands, she said.

Despite the problematic history of the logo, both Abercrombie and Gap have never been able to fully drop it. One of Abercrombie’s former CEO’s, Mike Jeffries, initiated a move to ditch the brand’s signature logo from clothing in 2014, but it eventually crept back in.


Read more:
Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, and Gap are resuscitating a trend that millennials have rejected for years

Abercrombie’s current CEO Fran Horowitz said in an interview with Business Insider in December that the brand is currently benefiting from a ’90s fashion comeback, which has made the logo trendy again and is aiding sales. If this trend wanes, the brand will adjust accordingly, she said.

But other logo-heavy brands should take heed of these examples and realise that a logo craze doesn’t last forever, Hinton said.

“When Abercrombie & Fitch came to the UK in 2007, there were queues to get into its store, today there are no longer queues – instead there are queues at Supreme, the latest fashion must-have logo, and one that should take care it has a long term plan for the brand as it is reaching peak recognition.”

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