The history of Abercrombie & Fitch began in the nineteenth century and extends into the twenty-first century. Key figures who changed and influenced the course of Abercrombie & Fitch's history include co-founders David T. Abercrombie and Ezra Fitch, Limited Brands and Michael Jeffries, the former Chairman and CEO. David Abercrombie founded A&F in 1892 as an upscale sporting goods store. Forming a partnership with Ezra Fitch, the company continued to expand in the new 20th century. After Abercrombie left the company, Fitch became sole owner and ushered in the "Fitch Years" of continued success. Shortly after his retirement, the company continued to develop under a succession of other leaders until its financial fall and closing in 1977. Limited Brands purchased the ailing brand in 1988 and brought in Mike Jeffries, who revolutionized the image of Abercrombie & Fitch to become an upscale youthful fashion retailer. Today, the company is a multibillion-dollar entity continuing to experience economic expansion through the business continuance of three offshoot growing concepts and cautious international expansion into key luxury markets.