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Abercrombie is planning to close up to 40 stores in 2019

Key Points
  • Abercrombie & Fitch is planning to close up to 40 stores during fiscal 2019, primarily targeting U.S. locations.
  • In fiscal 2018, it closed 29 stores.
  • Over the last eight years, the teen retailer has shuttered about 475 stores.
Customers exit an Abercrombie & Fitch store in San Francisco, California.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Abercrombie & Fitch said Wednesday it plans to close up to 40 stores by next February, with the majority of closures slated in the U.S.

Abercrombie joins a number of other retailers like Victoria's Secret and Gap announcing a fresh round of store closures. In the first two months of this year, retailers announced 4,300 store closures, according to a note from Coresight Research.

Abercrombie, which also owns Hollister, has been staging a comeback after losing its foothold as a teen staple clothing brand. Over the last eight years, Abercrombie has shuttered about 475 stores. The company has also been reducing the size of its stores and remodeling existing locations.

In fiscal 2018, the teen retailer closed 29 stores, which contributed to a 2 percent decline across the company in total square footage.

CEO Fran Horowitz told analysts on the conference call that the company is "carefully evaluating our entire store base and will close stores when appropriate." More closures could be ahead as roughly 50 percent of its leases expire within the next few years. In fiscal 2019, the company plans to add or remodel 85 stores, including 40 new locations.

Shares of Abercrombie skyrocketed by about 20 percent Wednesday after it beat Wall Street estimates for earnings and reported strong same-store sales growth. During its fiscal fourth quarter ending Feb. 2, the company earned $1.35 per share. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting earnings of $1.15 per share. It also reported same-store sales growth of 3 percent, beating Wall Street's forecasts of 1.5 percent.

CORRECTION: This article was corrected to include the full quote from Horowitz.