|Abercrombie & Fitch Expands Anti-Counterfeiting Program|
New Global Brand Protection Team Led By Former FBI Intellectual Property Expert
NEW ALBANY, Ohio, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) announced today that it is significantly expanding its commitment to combat the counterfeiting of its products on a global scale by launching a new anti-counterfeiting program, which will be known as the Abercrombie & Fitch Brand Protection team. The team will be led by newly-appointed Shane Berry, formerly of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Intellectual Property Rights Program.
Berry, a 13-year veteran of law enforcement, joined Abercrombie & Fitch in November of 2005 after seven years as Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI. Prior to his role with the FBI he served as a Special Agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
This new program will improve current practices and strategies by focusing on eliminating the supply of illicit Abercrombie & Fitch products. The counterfeit items, which include products from the Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and RUEHL brands, undermine the Company's 114-year legacy of consistently providing high-quality products. The Company is committed to protecting its loyal customers, customers who have come to expect top quality and craftsmanship from Abercrombie & Fitch products.
In addition to its core initiatives, the Brand Protection team will cast a wider net around the counterfeiters by increasing staff throughout Europe and Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on covering locations such as Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea. The Brand Protection unit will interact with investigators, customs officials and law enforcement entities throughout the world. Abercrombie & Fitch will employ the fullest extent of civil and criminal law to stop the counterfeiting of its goods.
The Company operated 361 Abercrombie & Fitch stores, 164 abercrombie stores, 318 Hollister stores, and 8 RUEHL stores at the end of January 2006. The Company operates e-commerce websites at www.abercrombie.com, www.abercrombiekids.com, and www.hollisterco.com.
SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995
A&F cautions that any forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) contained in this Press Release, A&F's Form 10-K or made by management of A&F involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various important factors, many of which may be beyond the Company's control. Words such as "estimate," "project," "plan," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements. The following factors, in addition to those included in the disclosure under the heading "FORWARD- LOOKING STATEMENTS AND RISK FACTORS" in "ITEM 1. BUSINESS" of A&F's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 29, 2005, in some cases have affected and in the future could affect the Company's financial performance and could cause actual results for the 2005 fiscal year and beyond to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any of the forward- looking statements included in this Press Release or otherwise made by management: changes in consumer spending patterns and consumer preferences; the effects of political and economic events and conditions domestically and in foreign jurisdictions in which the Company operates, including, but not limited to, acts of terrorism or war; the impact of competition and pricing; changes in weather patterns; postal rate increases and changes; paper and printing costs; market price of key raw materials; ability to source product from its global supplier base; political stability; currency and exchange risks and changes in existing or potential duties, tariffs or quotas; availability of suitable store locations at appropriate terms; ability to develop new merchandise; and ability to hire, train and retain associates, and the outcome of pending litigation. Future economic and industry trends that could potentially impact revenue and profitability are difficult to predict. Therefore, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements included in this Press Release will prove to be accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties in the forward-looking statements included herein, the inclusion of such information should not be regarded as a representation by the Company, or any other person, that the objectives of the Company will be achieved. The forward-looking statements herein are based on information presently available to the management of the Company. Except as may be required by applicable law, the Company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.
SOURCE Abercrombie & Fitch