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Abercrombie & Fitch Must Suck In Its Gut

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF - Get Report) may shed some of its store base when its leases expire over the next two years.

During a meeting with J.P. Morgan analyst Brian Tunkick, Abercrombie & Fitch management threw around words like "over-saturated" and "money losing stores," Tunick wrote in a note on Monday.

Over the next two years 210 leases are set to expire, or 20% of the store base, and Tunick says this could mean Abercrombie & Fitch will close some stores or negotiate for better lease terms.

Tunick expects the most potential closures at the Abercrombie & Fitch core concept, which he says could stand to lose about 100 stores. Currently there are 354 Abercrombie & Fitch locations.

The company has already begun trimming its portfolio with the closure of all 29 of its Ruehl stores.

That chain had been a drain on the company's profits and had contributed to some of the worst same-store sales number in the apparel retail space. In May Abercrombie & Fitch reported a 28% plunge in comparable sales. In comparison, Aeropostale (ARO - Get Report) recorded a 19% jump in same-store sales, while American Eagle Outfitters (AEO - Get Report) slipped 7%.

Shares of Abercrombie fell 1.4% to $25.65 in afternoon trading.

Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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