Apparel retailing can be a surprisingly cyclical business, and not just because of economic cycles. Plenty of U.S. apparel companies, ranging from Gap (GPS) to American Eagle (AEO) to Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) have enjoyed periods where they could do no wrong with merchandising or marketing, only to see the crowds leave without warning and take their sales with them. What's more, as a store's footprint grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain an impressive or satisfying level of growth.
One solution that apparel companies have found is to go global. Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch have taken their shows on the road (with not a lot of success thus far), as have European...
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