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Hollister to open in Herald Square — with short-term lease and smaller footprint

Hollister is bringing its updated store format to the retail heart of Manhattan.

The teen apparel brand, a division of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., will open a location at 130 W 34th St., in New York’s Herald Square district. Hollister signed a short-term lease on the store, which is due to on September 27. It did not reveal the length of the lease.

“Based on our landlord relationships, our balance sheet strength, and our ‘test and learn’ culture, we have the flexibility and agility to take advantage of opportunities arising from the current retail real estate environment to trial new formats on shorter lease terms,” said Fran Horowitz, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. “We believe stores matter.”

The Herald Square outpost is part of Abercrombie’s ongoing “transformative” strategy to invest in new stores while also reducing the overall square footage of its fleet as it moves towards smaller stores with omnichannel functionality and away from big flagships. Earlier this year, the company closed Hollister’s flagship in Manhattan’s SoHo and said it would close its namesake flagships in Milan, Italy, and Fukuoka, Japan, as well. (Two other namesake flagship, one in Copenhagen, and one in Hong Kong, previously went dark.)

The 34th street location is one of 40 new stores the company will open in fiscal 2019.

The two-level Herald Square store will feature a dedicated space for Hollister’s Gilly Hicks lingerie brand, which the company is looking to expand. It will also include many features of Hollister’s newer format, which made its debut in 2015 and has since been rolled out to about 50% of its stores worldwide.

Store associates will be equipped with devices that allow them to access customers’ loyalty program information and related officers and provide mobile checkout. The new location will also allow customers to pick up online orders in store and reserve in store.
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