Abercrombie Has a “Situation”

by Todd Shriber

Earlier this week, shares of preppy apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) were trading around $70. As of this writing, the stock labors below $59 following the company’s proclamation on Wednesday that higher commodities prices will weigh on results in the back of this year.

That’s not the only situation facing the Ohio-based retailer. Abercrombie has another situation, and it is of the Jersey Shore variety. It’s not a good situation either as it amounts to not much more than an arguably embarrassing public relations flap for Abercrombie, which is known almost as much for its racy catalogs as it for its khakis.

Abercrombie has asked Jersey Shore reality show cast member Mike Sorrentino (a.k.a. “The Situation”) and fellow cast members Snooki, J-Wow et al. to stop wearing Abercrombie garb on the hit MTV show. In fact, the company is offering monetary compensation to the cast if they stop wearing Abercrombie apparel, according to the Associated Press.

The company says viewers seeing The Situation in Abercrombie wear could cause “significant damage” and may be “distressing” to customers, the AP reported.

What’s odd about this is that the target age group Abercrombie likely overlaps with that the ages of the most loyal “Jersey Shore” fans so in effect, Abercrombie has been getting a free endorsement deal from The Situation and friends.

Even more odd is the fact that plenty of companies have sought out the show’s cast members as product endorsers. Snooki pitches pistachios, and Pauly D has been spotted in mayonnaise commercials. Overall, the list is quite lengthy.

Ironically, Abercrombie’s request may have only broadened its association with The Situation and his roommates to a wider audience than probably watches Jersey Shore.

In the words of The Situation, it “Looks like Abercrombie got themself into a Situation!”

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