Distribution Centers: Abercrombie Consolidating, J. Crew Expanding

Although Abercrombie & Fitch registered impressive increases for its fiscal year, including a surge in direct sales, the apparel cataloger said it would consolidate its two domestic distribution centers in New Albany, OH.

According to its financials, the company is combining the facilities so it can sell the second distribution center to reduce its distribution costs. It also plans to close about 50 underperforming stores in the U.S.

Abercrombie’s net sales for its fiscal year ended Jan. 29, 2011 rose 18%, to $3.47 billion, from $2.93 billion. Same-store sales increased 7%, and direct sales jumped 41%, to $352.5 million.

The company expects to incur about $26 million in capital expenditures associated with the consolidation, which is expected to be completed by mid-2012.

Meanwhile, J. Crew plans to expand its distribution center in Lynchburg, VA. The apparel cataloger/retailer owns a 262,000 sq.-ft.- facility and leases a 63,700-sq.-ft. DC there for the call center and order fulfillment operations of its direct channel.

J. Crew’s distribution has been in Lynchburg for 25 years, according to Tony Brown, senior vice president, global supply chain. The expansion will add 100,000 sq. ft. to the larger DC, and create 177 new jobs.