It may have been in the works amid the last two years of declining sales at the struggling retailer.
"This conversation with Mike has been going on for a while. It's that publicly we couldn't talk about it," said an Abercrombie & Fitch spokesperson in a phone interview with TheStreet. He added that "holiday plans were signed off on for some time [so] now, it's just about execution."
On Monday, the teen apparel retailer, which is battling to stay relevant in the face of fierce competition from H&M and Forever 21, announced that Jeffries would be retiring effective immediately after holding the top spot since 1992. Abercrombie & Fitch's prior non-executive chairman, former Sears (SHLD) CEO Arthur Martinez, is now executive chairman. According to Abercrombie, the chairman's office will oversee the company's strategic direction and day-to-day operations until a successor to Jeffries is found.