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Monday, October 31, 2011

Abercrombie and Hollister's Retail Dance in the Dark...


"Welcome to Hollister, would you like a torch?"

There have been some complains in the UK about the lighting inside Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister stores...enough complains to garner attention from the news media. People complain that the lighting is too dark and that they can't see barely anything. "I can't see the sizes, I can't see the prices, I can't see the till - I can't see the point," shared a shopper at the Bullring store in Birmingham, England. Are they all kidding? Let's hope so because if not then they should ease up a little!

Abercrombie & Fitch is always set out to provide a signature shopping experience. Agreeably, the lighting is low enough to inspire an intimate, mysterious, and upscale environment. The spot lighting highlights perfectly to make out merchandise and price labels. (Again, if you have trouble seeing anything than you definitely need a doc visit or are just exaggerating to the point of stupidity). There is a ambiance playing out - even a story, as is the case with HCo and Gilly Hicks - romanticism - in the store and the shopper is to explore it. And if you miss the romantic aspect then at least it all comes across as an exclusive and cool club-like feel: "People can get lost in a club-like environment, relax, and hopefully spend more," adds a store employee at one Hollister. The setting creates and inspires curiosity and wonder. Many elements - models, photography, fragrance, music - are tied together by this such romantic, dim lighting to bring to life the ultimate shopping experience. No other stores do it like Abercrombie & Fitch and its family of brands.

Nevertheless, such retail settings are not agreeable to everyone...Primarily the parents of the young shoppers. Reporter Phong Fuu called it the "shopping trip from hell" and asked "where's the bar for all the weary parents?" as a reference to the club-esque feel of the lighting and music. Parents, too, complain about losing their kids inside. That I can understand because of the many shoppers inside, but it wouldn't be any different with bright lighting - they still wouldn't be able to spot their kid in the crowd! But you know, the setting is not meant to please middle-aged people; it's meant to please young consumers and it is working of course...

As one other shopper commented, "I don't think I'd want them to fix the lights 'cause with different lights it just wouldn't be Hollister!" We can all agree on that! Cheers!

Stay FIERCE!