THE SANDS OF time have shifted with fateful winds to manifest this great next moment in history, the arrival of the Abercrombie & Fitch label in the Middle East! As it continues in the pursuit of establishing a formidable, premium retail infrastructure worldwide, the highly anticipated affair signals a wholly exciting new entrance into another key regional international market of unique allure and commanding consumerism. An unyielding heat wave of renowned, youthful all-American style is moving in...
As inaugural setting to this historic upcoming Abercrombie & Fitch location is Kuwait City, the cosmopolitan capital of its eponymous country being among the top most wealthy and progressive in the region. With partner Majid Al Futtaim for retail ventures in the Middle East, Abercrombie & Fitch selected the most distinguished of the city's shopping centers and one of the largest and utmost best in the regional market, The Avenues indoor shopping center which most recently was awarded the 2013 accolade, in the expansion and design category, of Gold Award for Best Shopping Center in the Middle East and North Africa:
"The Avenues was awarded this prize by the Middle East and International Shopping Center Councils, after excelling over other shopping malls. The Avenues is one of the world’s largest shopping centers and is the most visited in Kuwait. It boasts of a unique architectural design that brings together several architectural schools, giving a distinct identity to each district — inspired by some of the world’s oldest cities — and offering visitors a unique shopping experience. The Avenues offers a range of renowned brands, restaurants and entertainment centers spread over a leasable area of 270,000 sq-mt. It houses over 800 retail units and a multi-level parking lot with a capacity of 10,000 vehicles." – Arab Times, December 2, 2013
Specifically, Abercrombie & Fitch has taken strategic space in the Grand Avenue "district" of the overall seven in the mall. The subdivision is described as "[h]ome to major international brands debuted for the first time in the Middle East; [stretching] over 400 meters in length and approximately 22 meters wide, with palm trees lining the sides of the street; [boasting] a city feel with the stone-paved boulevard feature like that found in many European cities with architecture retail facades derived from international, local and contemporary influences; [c]overed with a transparent roof structure that allows sunlight streams and a heat insolent to enhance the outdoor feel similar to Oxford Street in London or the Champs-Elysees Boulevard in Paris; [t]he lighting [bringing] together modern brass etchings and Venetian design in the rotundas; and [including] a 2-story level 'Galleria' zone that houses a variety of international fine dining cuisines overlooking the Grand Avenue." Two adjacent units have actually been acquired to be set up as a greater store, and they are together on the ground floor and at a spot where the Grand Avenue and the Prestige, holding luxury brands, meet. Facing the A&F facade, the location is adjacent on the right to Louis Vuitton which itself, to the right, is across a perpendicular hallway from Dior, with both LV and Dior flanking either side of this hallway to proceed into the Prestige area. The setup places Abercrombie & Fitch shouldered with the luxury district, and it follows in code of positioning the brand's worldwide top-tier locations in sharp standing naturally neighbored with other internationally iconic, prestigious labels.
Construction is currently ongoing since this fall. Check out these shots from when the hoarding went up in September...
A&F The Avenues, Kuwait City, will be the third mall-based international Abercrombie & Fitch in the world (after A&F Chengdu and Oberhausen), and it will be the second of such of indoor setup (after Oberhausen). No official word yet on the store opening, though we can well expect it sometime by the turn of the new year!
Kuwait City, you're about to get hotter...
P.S. This post will be kept updated as new information becomes available, including links to new posts on the matter.
Images in this post by A&F The Avenues, Kuwait City team.