It would have been impossible to guess, in the glory days of clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch, that the company would one day be relying on cannabinoids to up its business forecast. But with shares down 20 percent this year, the mall staple is casting around for new ideas. Here’s the latest; soon customers at 160 of the national chain’s store locations will be able to buy CBD-infused beauty products.
Earlier this year, A&F — which also owns the Abercrombie Kids and Hollister clothing retail chains— announced plans to close flagship locations in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood, Hong Kong, and Copenhagen. The brand, originally founded in 1892 to supply rich outdoors enthusiasts with gear, has been battling slow sales, and continues to look for its footing after chief executive Mike Jeffries left in 2014.
What weed goodies will you be able to buy at the preppy shopping center fashion mecca? A&F is partnering with Ohio-born Green Growth Brands and will be hawking its Seventh Sense line of wares, from lip balms to exfoliating body scrubs. GGB already sells the products — including muscle balms and foot creams — in 100 DSW shoe store locations and at Neiman Marcus.
For its part, Green Growth Brands sees the new project as an expansion opportunity. “Abercrombie & Fitch understands how to connect with their target-customer … across the globe,” Green Growth Brands CEO Peter Horvath said. “They have incredible brand recognition in our current target markets and beyond.”
The recent announcement is not the first time the GGB and A&F brands have linked. In May, 10 stores sold GGB products during a retail test run. Customers at locations in Colorado and Nevada, among other states, were privy to this initial rollout.
Walgreens, Urban Outfitters, CVS, and Rite Aid are among the other big name brands that have chosen to stock CBD products. Other corporations have announced that they are investing or investigating the possibilities of the cannabinoid, such as Walmart.
CBD has been the subject of much capitalistic endeavor over the past year, and recent figures released by BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research estimated that its industry would grow past $20 billion by the year 2024. Companies have inserted the cannabinoid into a vast spectrum of products, from beer to dietary supplements to Martha Stewart’s announced line of CBD pet products. This expansion has not gone without its challenges. Last year, a San Francisco brewery was forced to halt production on its line of CBD brews, and the New York City Health Department has declared war on businesses selling CBD-infused food and drink.
Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration held its first public hearing to consider the public’s opinion on forthcoming CBD regulations.
There is no small amount of hypocrisy in the fact that a great-grandmother can be arrested at Disney World and small town business owners can be thrown in jail for carrying a product that is sold in suburban malls. Hopefully as more such corporate business deals are announced, policy makers will have added motivation to iron out legislation on one of the United States’ favorite cannabinoids.
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