The whole point of lowering expectations is to establish a goal they can exceed. If they can't beat them fairly immediately, they haven't lowered them far enough. And for investors, in a company like Abercrombie 2018 is too far away. They really need to have a good Christmas this year.
It gets mentioned a lot but the results are rarely predictable. When times are tough, many folks will use any extra cash they get to pay down debt. In my favorite video, the "Wait and See" video on youtube, the small business saved the money rather than use it for expansion. While things are picking up a bit out there, Americans have still not lost the habit of thrift they learned during the Great Recession. Retailers are hoping that will change, but the numbers say it hasn't chanted yet.