Thursday, November 1, 2012

FIERCE Euphoria! | Abercrombie & Fitch in Dublin Now Open...

Saluting the fantastic fans and press at the opening doors of A&F Dublin!
Collective excitement in the heart – and the coats and/or faux fur hats and gloves, of course! – kept the multitude of fans warm and energized on the relatively cold Dublin morning of November 1. The much awaited for moment had finally arrived in which their great ole nation of Ireland would welcome, with open arms, the opening of its very own Abercrombie & Fitch! And when the doors finally swung open, out came store greeter Markus and pals welcoming all inside the inviting new abode of FIERCE cool! ...Ireland, welcome to the club!

Steeped in a proud cultural heritage of the arts and of life, Dublin is a world alpha- city reputed to be one of Europe's most youthful! From rich literary tradition to great nightlife, there is all in one in the capital of 527,612 residents (1,804,156 in the greater metro area). And it is this spot of cool in the world which now plays home to the first ever non-flagship international Abercrombie & Fitch store.

Situated at 34 College Green, A&F finds itself at the perfect point for itself in central Dublin: the building is of the architectural kind familiar with brand and its position places it at a historic center with connections to Dublin's great shopping, collegiate life, and finance. Grafton Street, named in 2008 as the world's fifth most expensive shopping street, and purveyor of upscale shopping, is found off College Green to the left of A&F Dublin. Also to the left, when facing A&F Dublin, is Trinity College – the city's only constituent college established in 1592 by Royal Charter under England's Elizabeth I. Directly across the street from 34 College Green is the Bank of Ireland. However, that building was actually the site of the Irish Houses of Parliament during the 1700s and up until the 1800 Acts of Union (which united all of Ireland with Great Britain); the structure was the world's first purpose-built two-chamber parliament house. College Green itself is a three-sided city "square" where US President Barack Obama made a major address on 23 May 2011 during his visit to Ireland – the entire place was packed with audience. Ultimately, the immediate area is said to greatly benefit commercially from the arrival of the iconic attraction of energy and youth of Abercrombie & Fitch!

After long held rumors swirling about since c.2008, news that Abercrombie & Fitch was officially coming to Ireland made headlines in February 2011. Initially, some incorrectly reported that the store would be opening on Grafton Street, but it was 34 College Green which had been selected with the privilege of housing the all-American force...

“ The deal will come as a major boost to retailing in Dublin. Abercrombie and Fitch are joining an already impressive line-up of national and international fashion and lifestyle brands now trading here. Their decision to locate here was influenced by our strong tourist base, our young population demographic and the significant level of brand recognition that exists here. ”Larry Brennan of Savills Ireland, which acted for Clarendon Properties for the lease.

The upcoming Abercrombie & Fitch location was to be a flagship store with a reported signed contract of 10-year lease coming at around €750,000 (US$963,235 million; GB£600,853) per annum (year). Nevertheless, things stayed quiet at 34 College Green throughout the year.

People received a reassurance of the coming of A&F when the opening was announced in February 2012 as officially scheduled for the year's Christmas/Winter season. By March 27, the construction phase had begun in full swing as the hoarding wall was put in place. An estimate of some 120 people were to be "on site at any one time," with about 15 contractors, throughout the duration of the construction phase expected to last for 24 weeks...

" The news that Abercrombie & Fitch is set to take over the former Habitat building on College Green is a huge vote of confidence for Dublin City Centre. Abercrombie & Fitch is one of the most prestigious and successful retailers in the world and its presence will be a real addition to the excellent range of retail options in the City Centre. Coming on the back of the first growth in footfall figures for the City Centre in six years, this is another early indication that we are reaching an important positive tipping point in business and consumer sentiment. It has been shown in examples from around the world, from London to New York to Philadelphia, that City Centre areas which manage themselves collaboratively and proactively through a BID type organisation help establish an environment in which investments like this are more likely to take place. We are confident that this will be the first of many similar type investments in Dublin City Centre. We look forward to working with Abercrombie & Fitch to help them settle into their new home on College Green! " – Dublin City BID, 30 March 2012 (source)

Construction time was bumped up to seven days a week by April 23 and the scaffolding had covered the entire left half of the building. Scaffolding coverage over the entire facade was complete by May 14; and the hoarding wall reached full height by late-June, hiding behind it the construction going on, and it was plastered with the recognized Abercrombie & Fitch ad of the chiseled half-naked male in low-rise jeans. By mid-August, the Company announced that its upcoming Dublin location had been demoted from flagship status and would open as a Tier 1 store. Historically, A&F Dublin was now destined to be the first non-flagship international A&F-branded opening in the Company's history. Also of note by this point in time, the Company was handling permission to maintain the advertising up (a notice requesting permission pending was placed at 34 College Green on July 31). Nevertheless, the entire advertising came down by September 19...much to the disappointment of many who enjoyed the sight. By early-October, information leaked and spread far and wide of the expected arrival of A&F hot guys and the opening date!

Fresh from their activities promoting the opening of A&F Munich, THE HOTTEST GUYS arrived in Dublin on Thursday, October 25. The fellas, 50 in total, came out in front of 34 College Green on the following Friday wearing their FIERCE red jackets, dark wash jeans, and classic leather flip-flops for the Christmas/Winter 2012 openings season! The countdown had begun and the anticipation began palpable! On Tuesday, October 30, a select group of men and women were allowed to explore the elegant interior of the store before it opened to the public. It was the Press Preview Event and out very own wonderful Dublin correspondent and contributor, Patrick Mooney, who actively participated in bringing The Sitch on Fitch the latest developments for months, was appreciatively in attendance...

Awaited for more than a year-and-a-half, Abercrombie & Fitch finally opened the great doors to its magnificent Dublin store Thursday, November 1, at 11:00AM (Western European Time). It's beautiful restorative work on the exterior is merely a small indicator of the opulence to be found within. Welcomed by the charming doormen and faced by the tall mural of Bruce Sargeant at the entrance, the shopper will find menswear to the left and womenswear to the right of this one-level store (also featuring double and triple-height ceilings). Currently featured at the jeans wall in both divisions is the collection of A&F Skinny Jeans in a mouthwatering assortment of preppy colors. Walking beyond, one is furthermore greeted by more of the engaging store models and you become lost in the unparalleled atmosphere that is the A&F Experience instore. One unique highlight to this location is the dome spanning over a greater central area where is to be found the A&F Flagship statue of the near-nude male. One-of-a-kind, intimate and luxurious, Abercrombie & Fitch in Dublin makes for another remarkable jewel in the collection of A&F international locations!



The Sitch on Fitch greatly appreciates its Dublin correspondent and contributor, Patrick Mooney, for his highly significant involvement in our reports on everything A&F Dublin. We could not have done our amazing job had it not been in part for you, Pat! Photos in this post, and information concerning the interior of the store, are by Patrick Mooney for The Sitch on Fitch. Photos may not be used/altered without permission by The Sitch on Fitch. Plagiarism of our written content is prohibited.