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08/08/2022

First Look: Abercrombie & Fitch debuts new store format

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Abercrombie & Fitch has unveiled a new store experience inspired by how customers feel before a long weekend.

The apparel retailer debuted its new “getaway” inspired design concept with a store at Del Amo Fashion Center in Los Angeles, and another at Il Centro Shopping Center, outside of Milan (Italy). Abercrombie plans to open multiple getaway-concepted stores around the globe through the remainder of the fiscal year, with more planned for 2023.

The travel aesthetic affinity is captured in the store’s hotel lobby-like vibe, complete with a check-in desk. Elevated fixtures and furnishings and wood accent walls contribute to the refined, stylish feel. The fitting rooms have been optimized with customizable lighting and chic design elements.

The merchandise assortment includes a mix of apparel and accessories curated to meet the needs of young millennial and zillennial customers (approximately 22- to 35-year-old consumers), with styled spaces dedicated to specific categories. The offerings include a denim studio.

“We translated our customer’s mindset into a real-world immersive experience,” said Joanna Ewing, GVP and head of creative for Abercrombie brands. “The entire design of these new stores is the unique getaway mindset of our customers brought to life in a way that communicates elevated ease, which is exactly what Abercrombie represents.”

Abercrombie & Fitch currently has more than 300 stores globally in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia-Pacific regions. During the past several years, the company has reshaped its brick-and-mortar portfolio, closing major flagship locations and opening smaller stores, while also investing heavily in digital.

“Our new getaway-inspired stores reflect the unity of both our brand aesthetic and intuitive, omnichannel functionality,” said Carey Krug, senior VP and head of marketing for Abercrombie brands. Everything from the flow and design elements to the functionality of the spaces was architected to reflect our customer’s ideal experience, whether they’re visiting for a transformative, curated shopping experience or utilizing the store’s omni-hub capabilities.”

In June, Abercrombie said it is targeting $5 billion in annual sales and an operating margin rate at or above 10% as part of its new “Always Forward” plan. The company reported net sales of $3.7 billion for the year ended Jan. 29, 2022.