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Decrypting Abercrombie & Fitch stores

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Abercrombie & Fitch is trendy and each store opening generates a lot of buzz. Look for instance on YouTube the videos that we taken when the brand opened its store in Milan.

A&F flagship store on 5th Avenue in NY is an interesting concept and deserves to be decrypted. There is actually an intention behind the store and every single detail of the store is aligned with this intention. I won’t tell you yet what it is. Let’s first make a list of all the noticeable details of the store.

Let’s first look at the outside aspect of the store. You’ll note at least two things. First, most of the time there’s a queue of customers; second, although A&F is a clothes brand, there are no clothes to be seen from the street.

Let’s go inside. You first get struck by the cologne-flavour sprayed in the entrance of the store. You senses are also triggered by the music which is pushed throughout the whole store.

Good-looking young men and women in their twenties are what you see when entering the store. They are constantly moving (actually dancing) and welcome you with a “Hey, what’s up?”

In terms of visual impact clothes are displayed in a semi-dark atmosphere with indirect lighting.

So … what’s the concept behind the store?

My take:

The flagship store is actually a night club and A&F did a fantastic job in managing the customer experience on many different levels. All senses of the shoppers are triggered in a way: you get acoustic, visual and olfactory stimuli which are all aligned on the experience the brand wants you to live.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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