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Friday, December 9, 2011

Koala Me Crazy! Gilly Hicks in Oberhausen Now Open!

Electro-surf and lifeguards made this opening unforgettable!
Image by CentrO.  |  (image source)
Gilly Hicks has opened up her first shop in Germany! The brand welcomed its German Gilly Hicks Girls, on December 8, inside what is now a groundbreaking new store for GH...

The entire facade of this GH store was inspired by the original facade developed for the Hollister brand. It looks like other HCo stores featuring an electronic display. For Gilly Hicks, however, the entire thing is wired to offer live feed from Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia! The interior design of GH Oberhausen naturally follows the standard Gilly Hicks store prototype. Inside is the detailed vintage-chic beauty admired by the brand's fans. About 600 square meters (more than 6,000 square feet) spread out as the Land of Down Undies offering fantastic underwear, casualwear, and loungewear for every girl!

This store is located inside the CentrO Oberhaunsen mall in the city of Oberhausen. The CentrO is one of Europe's most popular shopping centers and it's the biggest in Germany! Thus, the CentrO plays a notable role in reflecting the activity of consumer retail within Europe and, more specially, in Germany. It is from this location where Abercrombie & Fitch will be assessing further opportunities for the Gilly Hicks brand in the German market (and generally in Europe). The performance of Gilly Hicks in Oberhausen will determine any future plans.

But there is something else to note about this Gilly Hicks store. Mirroring HCo makes Gilly Hicks more interconnected with the Hollister consumer base. After all, that video display is a form of branding and marketing and that sets the tone for the brand in the mind of the consumer. Basically, Gilly Hicks is moving towards familiarizing itself more so with female HCo consumers...teenagers.

As a result, Gilly Hicks in Oberhausen plays a huge role in the development of the brand as GH continues to evolve in its find for an ultimate image. Gilly Hicks began in January 2008 as a brand designed for women 18 and up. Its image was of bare skin, sexuality, and natural beauty within its interpretation of  "down under." That original image has now been eroded away into something else. Today, Gilly Hicks is toned down from what it used to be. It is no longer adult, provocative (although sensuality still plays a role), and it heavily attracts teenage female customers. It's kind of like RUEHL in the sense that it began as something different compared to what it ended up being. RUEHL clothing was made more-and-more like Abercrombie and left behind its original more-unique style. This time, however, Gilly Hicks is being brought more-and-more closer to Hollister from a branding standpoint. Even the model for Gilly Hicks, Ashley Louise, is the same one for HCo's lookbook! I remember someone from A&F corporate clearly saying that the "target customer" for GH is more clear now...

Yup! This newest Gilly Hicks shop is definitely significant! Furthermore, the opening of this store makes Germany the only other nation in the entire world, apart from America, to be home to all Abercrombie & Fitch Co brands! Germany now has Abercrombie & Fitch, abercrombie kids, Hollister, and Gilly Hicks! Very cool.

So here's to hoping Gilly Hicks in Oberhausen is a success...

Stay FIERCE!

P.S. Gilly Hicks hasn't posted any photos of the opening on its official Facebook page. However, CentrO has and you can check out its photos (here)! It also has another gallery with great shots of the video display which you can see (here).