Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cameron in Scotland! | Some #SoCal News about HCo and A&F in the UAE and the UK!

Hey Dudes and Bettys!

Hope your all good this week!

I have to apologize as last week I said some of my female friends would be choosing some of their favorite #SoChill looks for Bettys but unfortunately, they haven't had time as they were at a One Direction concert. I should be able to bring you these next week.

Anyways, last week I talked briefly about the Abercrombie kids Savile Row store. I can bring you more information this week! Abercrombie & Fitch bought the building, 3 Savile Row, last summer, they then applied for planning permission to erect LCD screens on the exterior of the store and to attach flagpoles to the top of the building. They then specified that the interior would be like the A&F store which is already on Savile Row. The LCD screens surprised me as it is generally only the HCo and GH stores (such as Hollister Edinburgh and Fifth Avenue; GH Cardiff, for one example) that have these. Although I do think that the screens could look pretty cool on an a&f Kkds store.

Westminster City Council refused to give planning permission to change the interior and exterior, but have given permission for the building to be used as a shop as long as:
- No music can be heard from the street outside
- There can be no celebrity filled opening party
- There can not be any queues onto the pedestrian pavement (sidewalk) or road.
- No buggies/prams/strollers belonging to customers are not allowed outside the store either.

A&F has appealed against the decisions made by WCC, and the situation has gone to a Public Enquiry. I will inform you of any more information I discover!

Also, to all my Arabian readers out there, A&F has teamed up with Majid Al Futtaim Fashion in the UAE to develop the brand. They have planned for the first Hollister store to open sometime in the 3rd quarter of 2013 this is to open in the Mall of the Emirates, the largest shopping centre in the Middle East, and this is a massive step in the international expansion A&F have planned.

Majid Al Futtaim Ventures, the owners of Majid Al Futtaim Fashion, have also planned for an Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store to open sometime in early 2014. This is also to be somewhere in Dubai. I personally would love to see a store that looked like the one on Fifth Avenue (New York) or the Paris store. I personally think that these are two of the most iconic stores. But I guess Shanghai, opening later this year, may no longer be the last A&F opening for the time being as originally planned.

'We are very excited about the A&F joint venture and the growth potential for both the A&F brands in the region' said Ahmed Galal Ismail, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures.

A&F will need to take into account the very strict rules of the UAE and the Muslim religion.

Females are required to be covered up. They must have their shoulders and thighs covered, which obviously doesn't tie in with most of the Abercrombie tees and tanks. The mini skirts and shorts will also be a big no-go area. They are also not allowed to wear tight or transparent clothing. Men must have the upper part of there body covered if they are not at a beach (No, a HCo beach house doesn't cut it ;)). This obviously affects the greeters at the Hollister store and the Hottest Lifeguards when they promote the store. I don't think we'll see anything like a normal store opening, with 100 odd lifeguards. There must be no dancing or playing loud music in a public place, so the store will be exceptionally quiet opposed to what it usually is. And finally, the A&F adverts will need to be toned down as 'erotic' or 'sexual' advertising is strictly not allowed either. Overall, I expect the A&F expansion into the UAE will be very different to the usual stores and advertising.

That's it for this week,


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3 Savile Row, London