This story was updated at 8:15 a.m. EDT.
Teen apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co's said Thursday sales fell for the 13th straight quarter as customer traffic to its stores dropped, mainly in markets outside the United States.
Shares of the company, whose brands include Hollister and abercrombie kids, plunged 13 percent in early trading.
Comparable sales at international stores open at least a year slumped 7 percent in the first quarter, surprising analysts, who had expected a 0.2 percent rise, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.
Same-stores sales fell 8 percent in the Abercrombie brand, a much bigger decline than the 0.6 percent expected by analysts.
Abercrombie has been hurt by fierce competition from fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and Inditex's Zara. To woo back shoppers, the company has been remodeling its Hollister stores, hiring designers from top brands to keep up with trends and moving from logo-centric designs.
American clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch will report its first-quarter earnings before markets open Thursday. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the New Albany, Ohio-based company to report a loss of 51 cents per share on revenue of $710 million in the three-month period ending April — a slight improvement over the 53 cents per share loss on $709.42 million revenue the company posted in the same quarter last year.
The retailer’s same-store sales, which rose for the first time in over three years in the previous quarter, are expected to rise 1 percent in the first quarter of the fiscal year.
Abercrombie & Fitch, which has been operating without a CEO since Mike Jeffries stepped down in 2014, recently named two new brand presidents — Stacia Andersen, the former vice president of merchandising at Target, and Kristin Scott, the former executive vice president at Victoria’s Secret.
Over the past year, the company also has been attempting to overhaul its marketing techniques, including toning down its much-derided “look policy,” wherein it hired staff based on their perceived physical attractiveness. Last April, the retailer announced it would end the “sexualized marketing” it had long resorted to in order to make the brand more relatable.
In the previous quarter, Abercrombie & Fitch reported a 33 percent jump in profits — a possible indication that its turnaround efforts were working.
On Wednesday, the company’s shares in New York closed up nearly 1 percent. Year-to-date, however, its stock has dropped over 8.6 percent, underperforming the broader index.
Data from Reuters were used to report this story.