December 22, 2015 / 2:54 PM / 5 years ago

Abercrombie appoints Hollister brand chief its merchandising head

(Reuters) - Abercrombie & Fitch Co has promoted Fran Horowitz, the president of its Hollister brand, to the newly created role of chief merchandising officer in another effort by the company to make its apparel more attractive to teen shoppers.

People walk by an Abercrombie & Fitch Co store in Pasadena, California March 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Abercrombie also said on Tuesday that it was on track to deliver sequential improvement in comparable sales and meet its profit expectations for the fourth quarter.

The company’s shares rose as much as 6 percent in morning trading.

Horowitz’s promotion comes four months after Abercrombie said it had hired designers and executives from top brands such as Ralph Lauren, Karl Lagerfeld and Tommy Hilfiger.

Horowitz, who will assume her new role immediately, took over the Hollister brand in October 2014. Under her, the brand returned to comparable sales growth in the third quarter this year after more than two years of decline.

Horowitz, 51, joined Abercrombie in October 2014 from women’s clothing retailer Ann Inc, where she was the brand president of Ann Taylor Loft.

In her new role, Horowitz will oversee all of Abercrombie’s brands and their merchandising, design, inventory management and marketing departments. She has also been appointed president.

Abercrombie’s total sales have been falling for nearly three years as the company faces intense competition from “fast-fashion” retailers such as H&M, Inditex’s Zara and Forever 21.

Abercrombie also said Christos Angelides, who was Abercrombie & Fitch brand president since October 2014, had left the company.

The company’s shares were up 4 percent at $26.57 in morning trading on Tuesday.

Reporting by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey

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