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Monday, November 25, 2013

News Now! | Abercrombie & Fitch Paris Fire on Champs-Élysées...

The Paris Brigade in action amid disaster at A&F Paris.
Images by the BSPP used for illustrative purposes only.
         FEU DANS LA Ville-Lumière! In a most unfortunate strike of freak occurrences, on Sunday, November 24, the interior of the Abercrombie & Fitch Paris flagship store became a storm of hellish fury. The Brigade de Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris – a French Army unit reserved exclusively for the city's fire service – responded immediately at around 6:45AM (CET; UTC +1) and made haste in dying out the flames and attempting to air out the premises. It was on a section of the sales floor on the second level where the fire took hold; and although safety mechanisms helped contain it at about 1,076 sqft (100 sqm) of fire damage, the heavy black smoke caused more extensive problems as it permeated throughout the entire place and reduced visibility to less than 8 inches only after the fire had died. Ultimately, 72 firefighters and 22 engines were on location after more than 2 hours in response on the famed Avenue de Champs-Élysées...

Since its memorable opening back in May 2011 (who can forget the world's first and globally-buzzed week of the 101 A&F hottest guys! See here and here), Abercrombie's Parisian location had purveyed the brand's globally iconic clothing, accessories, and fragrance to thousands upon thousands of visitors entranced by the wholly unique and unparalleled shopping experience. The four-level sales space interior was a majestic display of No.23 Champs-Élysées' special grandeur in synthesis with elements of the exceptional all-American heritage of Abercrombie & Fitch. Largely regarded by the brand's visiting fans as arguably the best A&F Flagship in Europe, the once-pristine A&F Paris will now have to be gutted and undergo full internal restoration: "It has to be totally refitted. Everything has to be thrown out," stated French Lieutenant colonel Frédéric Grosjean.

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The original A&F Paris as seen in some pics from our TSOF photo archives.
Photos by Mark Verheyen, 2012.
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This ill-fated circumstance comes at an even more terribly inopportune moment for Abercrombie & Fitch Co. at a time when Company sales figures have been trending negative. The significant damage and to-be-extensive temporary closing of the international, heavy-traffic A&F Paris store is a major hit to the Company's capital and its short-term overseas sales. After the disaster, there are also now sizable losses procured in original on-site investment and merchandise. And adding insult to injury, the fact that this went down incidentally on the eve of the generally heavy Holidays shopping consumer activity on one of the world's busiest streets.




A&F Paris is the second Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store to ever have been subject to fire damage. However, the degree of destruction in Paris is beyond anything that happened back in 2011 when A&F Fifth Avenue broke out in contained fire on the fifth level (office space) and sparing the sales floors below without any dramatic damage. While A&F Fifth Avenue was able to operate again after barely even 2 weeks closed, the work to restore the Paris location will be extensive, the Company should move quickly in tackling the sudden project, and a fully-fledged reopening of A&F Paris will have to occur sometime soon after the following weeks of laborious work to get done...

We can only express our deepest regret for this to have happened to the great A&F Paris team. But with a strong, resilient crew, you can bet that No.23 will be #ABERCROMBIEHOTer than ever in no time!

Stay FIERCE!