Monday, November 14, 2011

Hollister on Regent Street... So Awesome It's Gonna Be EPIC!

83-97 Regent Street as seen on Google Maps. The "Explore it" was a part of the National Geographic store.
The gate on the right is a pathway to Swallow Street.
Image used here for illustrative purposes only.
Hollister has been causing massive waves of SoCal cool all across the United Kingdom since it first opened shop back in October 2008. As a sign of its crazy success, HCo now operates more than 20 of its signature surfshop-inspired stores throughout all of the UK. Well, plans for expansion are still in place as the brand furthers its retail footprint. However, no other opening will be as EPIC as what's heading for next near...

Bold and determined, Abercrombie & Fitch is gearing up to open its first ever Hollister flagship store in the United Kingdom! The location will make HCo's first ever central London location and will be based on the "EPIC" flagship store prototype which first opened back in July 2009 in New York City.

Strategically placed retail locations are a mark of Abercrombie & Fitch which wanted to ensure a key spot for its HCo flagship. That perfect spot presented itself when National Geographic gave up its lease on 83-97 Regent Street. Reportedly, the retail space - 20,000 square feet (about 1,858 square meters) - was too big and expensive for the National Geographic Society to continue operating. Thus NG moved out of what was its first ever store. And because of the shortage of "good space" in London's West End, companies circled in like hungry sharks! Abercrombie & Fitch battled others for the lease to 83-97 Regent Street! It all came down to who could offer the best of what they've got and Abercrombie & Fitch won the hell outta everyone else! As Property Week told, "[Abercrombie & Fitch] is understood to have agreed to pay a significant premium..." The result made headlines in the retail and property industries. A&F's moves in Europe are carefully followed and industry analysts pay close attention to Regent Street...

Named after Prince Regent (King George IV of the United Kingdom), Regent Street was a part of the first planned development projects of London and was completed in 1825. Right from the start, the street was envisioned as a commercial thoroughfare. Many of the original buildings lining the street were the creation of the notable architect John Nash. However, the structures Nash built were deemed unsuitable and questionably stable by the end of the century. As a result, the modern Regent Street you see today is the result of its 1895-1927 redevelopment by the Crown Estate (which still owns the majority of Regent Street). The street was a rather lame shopping pavement until the opening of the UK's first Apple Store. The Apple Store is said to have revolutionized Regent Street because, after the opening, loads of other international popular brands began to line the street as well. Today, Regent Street is one of Europe's great shopping streets.

But come 2012, Regent Street may have upon itself yet another transformation - a destination for the young with the coming of laid-back chill and SoCal cool! EPIC in London will be opening in the first half of that year...Spring 2012. The HCo flagship could have opened during Christmas 2012; it's the most profitable time of the year for the brand and Regent's Christmas lights displays bring in loads of people. However, Abercrombie & Fitch has perfectly scheduled the opening of EPIC at a time when the anticipation for the London 2012 Olympics begins! By August 2012, all eyes will be turned towards an exciting tourist-jammed London. Being that Regent Street is a key shopping street, these tourists will most certainly be spending time on it and Hollister's EPIC location will be the main consumer attraction!

Anyone completely stoked about this?! The Olympics...the attractions...HCo's flagship! London is gonna be totally EPIC!


UPDATE (5 April 2012): the HCo EPIC flagship on Regent Street will be opening doors on MAY 12! Read this for more info: Hollister and Gilly Hicks on Regent Street, London Opening May 12!!!

UPDATE (22 November 2011): 83-97 Regent Street will divided into separate stores - one for Hollister and one for Gilly Hicks. We've got you a look at the ground floor plans which you can see (here). Read Gilly Hicks to Join Hollister on Regent Street! for info on the GH store.

UPDATE (30 January 2012): The A&F London flagship on Savile Row has begun promoting the opening of HCo and GH on Regent Street. The locations will be opening in March!